Asheville City Schools Superintendent Pamela Baldwin has accepted the position of Superintendent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
During a specially called meeting, the local school board approved Dr. Baldwin’s contract, set to begin in early April. Chapel Hill-Carrboro is one of 15 North Carolina municipal school districts; the other districts in the state are county-based or joint municipal-county districts. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro system serves more than 12,000 students in 21 schools.
“I would not have pursued this unique opportunity had it not presented itself to me,” Baldwin told the Asheville City Board of Education. “I am invested in Asheville City Schools and believe that the work we are doing is critical to the success of all students. As I have often said, the district must continue to pursue equity with excellence—the work I have been so passionate about—because it’s quite simply the right thing to do for our children.”
Interim Superintendent named
The Asheville City Board of Education has again turned to veteran educator Dr. Bobbie Short to serve as Interim Superintendent effective April 1. Short was the district’s Interim Superintendent from August 1, 2013 until June 30, 2014. She was Superintendent of Watauga County Schools from 2003-2008 following service as assistant superintendent, principal, and elementary supervisor for nearly a decade in Buncombe County Schools.
“Although we are happy for Dr. Baldwin as she accepts a leadership position that is a logical career move, the Asheville City Board of Education was surprised and saddened by her announcement,” Board Chair Peggy Dalman said. “We are truly grateful for her significant accomplishments in the relatively short span of less than three years. Dr. Baldwin spearheaded the creation of a focused district strategic plan, has helped oversee the construction and opening of two new schools, pushed our graduation rate to its highest level ever and has improved the way we deliver curriculum in classrooms across the district.”
Openings on City School Board
The School Board itself is also seeking new members, as Chair Dalman will complete her second and final term and member Leah Ferguson has decided not to seek a second term. Both terms expire March 31. Asheville City Council appoints board members and wants to have them in place in time to participate in the choice of a successor to Dr. Baldwin. Whoever is appointed will take their seats April 1, but Vice-Mayor Gwen Wisler hopes they will be chosen by late February or early March, to give them time to prepare in advance as the board searches for a new superintendent.
Applications, to be submitted to City Clerk Maggie Burleson at Asheville City Hall, will be accepted beginning Jan. 9 and must be received by Feb. 1.
The Asheville City Board of Education has established the goal of hiring a new superintendent prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year. The Board plans to hire a search partner to facilitate a national quest for the next Superintendent of Asheville City Schools.
In a formal statement, Dr. Baldwin told district teachers and staff, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the Asheville City Schools family. Our school system is solid and we work day in and day out to ensure both academic and character growth in the lives of the children we serve. I am proud of your work and the progress we have made, despite a variety of challenges, to provide the best possible education for our students now and in the future. There are not words to fully express the gratitude I have for the opportunity to serve this community. Thank you for your commitment, your passion and the unique gifts all of you bring to our schools. You do noble work, and you do it well. I have been honored to serve alongside each of you. Thank you for that opportunity.”
Asheville City Schools serves nearly 4,500 students in nine schools, following the mission statement “to create learning environments that ensure Excellence with Equity for all students.” The district strategic plan that Dr. Baldwin helped create has three focal points: Early Childhood, Academic Achievement, and Whole Child. The Asheville School Board plans to continue Dr. Baldwin’s emphasis on serving every child throughout the transition period and under a new superintendent.