New Beginnings

Published 8:13 am Monday, June 30, 2014

JACKSON – A new fiscal year brings a new direction for Northampton County Public Schools.

Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter, the new Superintendent of Northampton County Public Schools, will be administered the formal oath of office during a 9 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday, July 1 at the Northampton County Courthouse in Jackson. The public is invited to attend.

Less than one week later (Monday, July 7), newly elected Northampton County Board of Education member Lucy Edwards will raise her hand and accept the oath of that office. Edwards will be joined at the 6:30 p.m. ceremony at the Northampton County Central Services office (701 North Church Street, Jackson) by incumbent School Board members Rhonda Taylor and Kelvin M. Edwards, who each earned another four-year term during the most recent election cycle held in May.

For Smith-Woofter, Tuesday’s ceremony marks a homecoming. The Gaston native is a 1986 graduate of Northampton County High School-West and taught math there for five years before leaving to accept an administrative job just across the river in Roanoke Rapids.

Smith-Woofter was the choice of the Northampton Board of Education during a meeting held in May. With the exception of Erica Smith-Ingram (the sister of the new Superintendent who abstained from voting), all board members were in favor of the motion.

Northampton School Board School Board Chairperson Marjorie Edwards stated the contract is good from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018.

“You know my work ethics are above board and I’m willing to work with you, for you, each and every day in any way that I can so that we can move Northampton County Schools forward in the positive direction that we’re going,” Smith-Woofter said at the May meeting.

Recalling her time spent as a student in the county school system, Smith-Woofter said she would have never imagined becoming a superintendent.

“I’ve come full circle; I’m so happy to be back home,” said the daughter of Rebecca Smith of Gaston.

Smith-Woofter prepared herself to take this next step up the educational administration ladder by serving in a number of academic leadership capacities. The Virginia State and East Carolina University graduate began that career climb, first as assistant principal (1996) and then principal (1998-2005) at Chaloner Middle School in Roanoke Rapids. Her next stop was a two-year stint (2005-07) as principal at Roanoke Rapids High School. She then moved to the Roanoke Rapids City Schools Central Office, in charge of Student Services and Accountability.

Smith-Woofter’s next step came as the founding principal at the newly opened Roanoke Valley Early College High School, a part of Weldon City Schools. In October of 2012, she moved to the Weldon City Schools Central Office, charged with heading up Curriculum and Accountability. From there she was promoted to Chief Academic Officer, a position she was holding until being named as the new leader of Northampton Schools.

She is not the only educator in her family as her husband, Steve Woofter, is a middle school Algebra teacher. They are the parents of a 12-year-old daughter, Bryonna, and a 19-year-old son, Stephen, a rising sophomore at Hampden-Sydney College where he is a member of the men’s basketball team.

Smith-Woofter replaces Dr. Eric C. Bracy who announced in late December that he had accepted the job as Superintendent of Sampson County Public Schools. Bracy served Northampton County for five and one-half years.

In the interim, Northampton County Schools employed the services of Dr. John Parker, a Woodland native, to handle the Superintendent duties.

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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