Northampton searching for superintendent

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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JACKSON – Last year, the State Board of Education appointed an interim superintendent to Northampton County Schools for a one-year term. Now they’re working with the local board to start the process of finding who will step into that role once that year is up.

Representatives from the State Board, including Vice Chair Alan Duncan and General Counsel Allison Schafer, were in attendance at the Northampton BOE meeting here on July 11 to discuss the process they’ll follow for the next six months.

In December 2021, the State Board removed Dr. Pamela Chamblee as the district’s superintendent, stating in a press release that “the time has come for the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction to use the authority vested in them to take a more direct role in addressing the needs of the Northampton County Schools.”

Northampton County Schools has been labeled a low-performing district by the NC Department of Public Instruction for the past several years.

Dr. Del Burns, a retired superintendent who previously served in several districts throughout the state, was appointed to fill the role of Interim Superintendent for one year.

Schafer noted during her presentation at Monday’s meeting that Dr. Burns has opted not to continue past the end of that year-long term, so the State Board will assist in finding a new interim to begin in December.

Using input from both boards, a list of skills and characteristics were compiled to be used during the search, along with a document detailing more information about the superintendent search.

Board member Barbara Stephenson asked how long the contract would last with the replacement interim.

“It’s anticipated to be three years,” Schafer answered, explaining that research shows it takes more than one year to turn a district around.

According to the documents developed by the two boards, candidates for the interim superintendent position should possess the necessary skills, experience, and leadership practices for the job. They will not be required to live in Northampton County. It also notes that compensation will include a superintendent salary paid pursuant to the state salary schedule and local funds, plus an additional stipend provided by the State Board of Education.

“We don’t want to back up. We want to move forwards,” said Board member Dr. Marjorie Edwards, thanking the State Board for their assistance. “We want the best for Northampton County.”

Other board members expressed similar sentiments.

Applications for the position are due in August, and the new interim superintendent will preferably begin work no later than December 1, 2022.