Alvin L. Crawley, a veteran educator who spent the last year as the interim superintendent of Prince George’s County Schools, is now expected to take on the temporary leadership role in Alexandria.

The city’s school board is expected to approve a contract with Crawley Thursday night. He will lead the school system while the board conducts a national search for a permanent superintendent to replace Morton Sherman, who resigned abruptly before the beginning of the school year.

“Our school board sought an interim superintendent who could lead our efforts to increase the achievement of all students and analyze our gap issues,” said board chairman Karen A. Graf in a news release, referring to the disparity in academic performance among different racial and ethnic groups of students.

She said Crawley “impressed us during a conversation on the importance of sound leadership during this interim phase when he said, ‘The students cannot wait for us; we need to serve them now.’”

Following Sherman’s surprise departure, the board appointed Margaret May Walsh, a veteran Alexandria administrator, to serve as the acting superintendent. Graf called her a “calm and steady presence” during the past month.

Crawley has training in communication disorders, and a doctorate in education, focusing on instructional leadership and administration, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

He spent much of his three-decades long career in the Arlington Public Schools.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team in Alexandria City Public Schools this year,” he said in a news statement.

He will begin his appointment on Oct. 14. The board plans to select a search firm by Oct. 17 and then develop a schedule for involving the community and staff in the search process.