Gregory C. Hutchings Jr., a graduate of T.C. Williams High School, will return in July to helm Alexandria’s public schools. (Alexandria City Public Schools/Alexandria City Public Schools)

A familiar face is poised to lead Alexandria's public schools.

The city's school board has selected Gregory C. Hutchings Jr., a graduate of the city's T.C. Williams High School and former administrator in Alexandria's schools, to rejoin the 15,000-student school system July 1. Alexandria's school board was expected to formalize a contract with Hutchings at its Thursday night meeting, district spokeswoman Helen Lloyd said.

Hutchings, 40, said the Northern Virginia district is where his lifelong passion for education began.

"I am honored to return to my hometown and to advocate for and encourage the next generation of leaders," Hutchings said in a statement. "I look forward to collaborating with the school board and community to continue on the path to ensuring that every student succeeds."

The school board conducted focus groups and surveys to determine characteristics that community members desired in a superintendent, Lloyd said. A recruitment agency used that criteria to help vet and search for candidates. The school board conducted interviews based on that search, Lloyd said, and chose Hutchings about a week ago.

Hutchings will return to Alexandria from Shaker Heights City School District in suburban Cleveland, where he is in his fifth year as superintendent. He's credited with helping that district close achievement gaps, leading efforts to refine business processes and galvanizing public support to address school building needs, the release said.

Alexandria school board chair Ramee Gentry welcomed Hutchings's homecoming.

"We are delighted to have a homegrown leader with deep roots in our community," Gentry said in a statement.

Before moving to Ohio, Hutchings served in Alexandria from 2010 to 2013. He was promoted from director of middle school programs to director of pre-K-12 initiatives, a job in which he supervised principals and instruction in elementary, middle and high schools.

The school district declined to provide details of Hutchings's salary until a contract is formally signed at Thursday's meeting. Alvin Crawley, whom Hutchings will replace after Crawley left to become an education professor at George Mason University, drew an annual base salary of $215,000.

Hutchings taught in Prince William County and served as an assistant middle school principal in Chesterfield County, a Richmond suburb, according to the school district. He also worked in Tennessee, where he was recognized as middle school principal of the year by the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools for boosting student achievement.

Hutchings earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Old Dominion University and a master's in educational leadership from George Mason University. In 2010, he received a doctorate in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William & Mary.

Lois F. Berlin, retired Falls Church schools superintendent, is serving as interim superintendent in Alexandria.