BRISTOL, Va. -

Bristol, Virginia leaders celebrated the city's new superintendent on Thursday. Rex Gearheart officially becomes the head of the school system on August 1.

Gearheart has spent the last four years as assistant superintendent of Bristol schools and has more than 18 years of experience in education.

He told us finding money to build a new school is at the top of his agenda as superintendent.

The school system has been hit hard by budget cuts at the federal, state and city level.

"That will make us more fiscally responsible if we can get to a two school model," said Gearheart. "It will allow us to streamline our staffing, allow us to provide our students with better facilities, and provide them with a better instructional model and we look forward to a time when we can do that."

Gearheart told us there are positive changes happening this year. Next week, all sixth grade students will be given a laptop to use. He said all secondary students will have one within four years.