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Fahey resigns

WINTON – The search begins for a new superintendent of Hertford County Public Schools.

On Friday, HCPS officials formally announced that Superintendent Dr. John Fahey has resigned effective February. Dr. Fahey has accepted a position as Superintendent in Hopewell, VA after serving Hertford County since July 2009.

“I feel I got a good start here in my first job as a superintendent,” Dr. Fahey said. “I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a school district and I want to thank the community for supporting us. We have some wonderful students, teachers and community members, people who I will greatly miss.”

During his tenure the staff and students of Hertford County demonstrated significant academic growth. The school district has been recognized by the State School Board of Education for a graduation rate of 83.9 percent and ranks 21 of 115 school districts in the state.

“I’m sad to see Dr. Fahey leaving us,” said David Shields, Chairman of the Hertford County Board of Education. “He has performed an admirable job for our school district. Our big turnaround as far as test scores all started with (former HCPS Superintendent) Dr. (Mike) Basham and accelerated under Dr. Fahey’s capable leadership.”

Shields not only praised Fahey for his innovation, but his financial stewardship.

“Dr. Fahey is great with numbers,” Shields stressed. “Our capital outlay and general fund balances have increased, this coming at a time when we were suffering cutbacks from the state. He also saved us a lot of money by consolidating all our staff development programs.

“I also have to commend Dr. Fahey for being involved with our students,” Shields continued. “Many superintendents choose to lead from the central office, but not Dr. Fahey. He manages from the field. Our kids know who he is. He conducted literacy training, which he is a big proponent of. That’s been one of the keys to our success – his ability to teach teachers how to teach children how to read. He was a very good instructional leader for Hertford County and I feel that even with his departure our scores will continue to climb.”

With the recent staffing moves and hiring efforts within the school district, Dr. Fahey and the school board expect continued success. Dr. Valerie Williams has been hired as Assistant Superintendent and Dr. Catherine Allen as Director of Curriculum.

In addition, HCPS recently hired Dr. Vatara Slade as Principal of Hertford County Middle School.  With Joanne Jones as the HCPS Principal of the Year leading the Early College High School, the district is in a strong position to continue to make significant academic progress.

Under the leadership of Nora Artis, Principal of C. S. Brown High School, Stan Warren, Principal of Ahoskie Elementary School, Julie L. Shields, Principal of Bearfield Primary School, Lori Morings, Principal of Riverview Elementary School, James Futrell at Ninth Grade Success Academy, and Greg Hogue, Principal of Hertford County High School, Fahey and the board feel the district will continue to grow and achieve success.

“It’s all about surrounding yourself with good people and I want to brag a bit to say that I feel we have the right people in place,” Fahey said. “We’re seeing strong academic achievement scores from our children and that’s because we’ve got people in place that know how to educate.”

Shields said the school board will seek the guidance of the North Carolina School Board Association to help find an interim superintendent. That entity will provide the local board with prospective candidates that will be interviewed for the job.

“We’ll hopefully have someone in place before Dr. Fahey leaves, at least one week prior,” Shields said. “We’ll also start the process of searching for a full-time replacement. I would guess that in mid-February we will start the screening process for that job in an effort to have a new superintendent named by early July.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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