The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County today approved the appointment of John Thompson as the inaugural principal of the new Phoenix Academy, a state-of-the-art center in Annapolis that will offer special education and alternative education services to approximately 240 students beginning next year.

Thompson is currently assistant principal at Phoenix Annapolis and has worked in Anne Arundel County Public Schools since 2009. He served as assistant principal at Annapolis High School from 2009 until this year. Prior to that, he was a principal of a nonpublic school in Prince George’s County and teacher in Fairfax County. He also has worked as a rehabilitation counselor in Virginia.

“I am truly humbled and excited to have the opportunity to lead a school that I know will make a significant difference in our county and in the lives of many students and their families,’’ said Thompson, who is currently completing his work toward a doctoral degree in education leadership.

Phoenix Academy will be a dynamic, community-oriented, educational setting that will serve as a model for multi-agency collaboration and cooperation, and will bring quality educational, social-emotional, and family support services to students and their families. Housed in the renovated former home of Germantown Elementary, Phoenix will accommodate 120 special education and 120 alternative education students.

The programs offered at the Phoenix Academy will differ from those at the existing Phoenix Center and current comprehensive school settings in AACPS. Among its unique programs, the Phoenix Academy will provide:

● intensive, research-based instructional interventions and comprehensive clinical support services to students and their families.

● a highly structured instructional environment with a low student-to-teacher ratio across specialized instruction settings and alternative classrooms.

● the opportunity for students to pursue college and career pathways that lead to industry certifications and/or college completer programs.

The hiring process at Phoenix Academy is under way. Thompson will lead the interview process for the remainder of the school’s staff.