White chosen as Interim Superintendent

Published 10:40 am Monday, July 23, 2012

WINDSOR – Elaine White didn’t have time to unpack.

The newly named Bertie High School principal spent less than 20 days at the school before being tabbed by the Bertie County Board of Education to move again – at least temporarily.

Last week, the school board named White as Interim Superintendent of Schools, counting on her four-plus decades in education to lead them as they search for a replacement for the retired Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins.

“I’m excited about taking the helm of the district and trying to move it forward,” White said. “I think that those who have been my predecessors have done an excellent job and I want to build on the foundation they laid.”

White has served as a principal at four of the eight schools in the district, including Bertie High School, Windsor Elementary School, Aulander Elementary School and the former Serendipity School. She said that experience will help her as she transitions to running the district on a daily basis.

“I’m excited to be working with my peers,” White stressed. “Having just left a principalship, I understand the challenges of the building administrators.

“I also have been a principal in four schools and I think that has allowed me to get to know a large number of the staff and students,” she continued. “I’ve always worked in the community alongside my husband at Indian Woods Baptist Church, so I know a lot of folks in the community.”

White signed a contract to serve as interim superintendent until such time as the board hires someone for the job. She said until that time comes she will work diligently to make sure the district continues its forward movement.

“I am excited to be doing this job,” she said. “I think it’s a good time to come to this office. There are a lot of good initiatives that have been started and I think I will be able to carry those on.”

Her first priority will be working with the incoming Director of Curriculum, Sandra Hardy, to implement the Common Core Curriculum, which is being required this year.

“My first priority will be the transition to Common Core, which is the new Standard Course of Study so to speak,” the superintendent said. “We are going to have to roll that out. It’s new for North Carolina and new for the district so we will be spending a lot of time on that.”

White said the new curriculum would change what is required of students as they prepare for the 21st century.

Her second priority will be to continue to move forward with the building of a new Bertie High School.

The most pressing issue, however, is staffing.

“We have a number of issues around staffing our schools and I am in the process of looking at all of that and getting a good staff together,” White said.

As for the future, White said she hasn’t really thought about that. The new superintendent said that after 34 years in Maryland in the education field, she worked two in Beaufort County before moving to Bertie County.

Whether or not she will be a candidate for the job of superintendent remains to be seen, White said.

“Mine is a long career and it has covered a lot of areas,” she said. “I started as a teacher, then served as a department head, assistant principal and principal and worked in curriculum at the central office level.

“I have worked with children in grades pre-K through 12 and even taught some college courses,” White added. “I have had a wonderful career – a glorious journey. We all know it can’t go on but so long.”

Bertie High School Assistant Principal Calvin Moore has been named Interim Principal while White serves in her new capacity.