Hertford County welcomes Dr. Pratt as new superintendent

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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AHOSKIE – Hertford County Schools’ new leader is all for working together to ensure student success.

A ‘meet and greet’ event was held at Ahoskie Elementary School on Thursday, Jan. 26 to officially welcome Dr. Jesse Pratt as he steps into the role of the district’s superintendent. Parents, teachers, staff, and community members attended the event to have a chance to talk one-on-one with Dr. Pratt, who began his new job earlier this month.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Pratt said he was looking forward to working with the Hertford County Board of Education, who he said understands the value of taking care of the children.

“It’s the most critical thing we can do as a community,” he explained. “I’m proud to be a part of this school district, and helping this school district move from good to great.”

He also spoke on the need to work collaboratively with the local community, and he was looking forward to not only meeting people at Thursday’s event but at many more events in the future.

“It will take the community as we move forward to improve academic outcomes for our kids,” he concluded.

Those in attendance also received a copy of a letter from Dr. Pratt which detailed some of his goals for the district in the future.

Dr. Jesse Pratt (left) is greeted by an individual at the event. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

“We never quit on a student,” the letter read. “Instead, we will invest more time understanding their stories when students fall short of our expectations. We will show compassion and empathy to all students. Every student is one caring adult away from achieving greatness.”

“We will do our best to create meaningful experiences with those we encounter so that they speak positively about their interaction with the staff and the district when they walk away,” the letter continued. “We will be merchants of hope for many students and families. There will be times when people lose their way, but it is our job to inspire them to be more and do more than they ever thought possible.”

Dr. Pratt was all smiles as he shook hands with attendees at the event, taking time to ask questions and learn more about the local area and the people who live here.

Before arriving in Hertford County, Dr. Pratt most recently served as the deputy superintendent of operations for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. He also served that same district in other capacities, including as an area superintendent from 2019-2021 and an assistant principal from 2001-2003.

Throughout his almost 30-year career in education, Pratt has also worked with Thomasville City Schools (assistant superintendent), Indianapolis Public Schools (regional superintendent), and Guilford County Schools (principal). He began his career in the Guilford district in 1995 as a middle school social studies and language arts teacher.

Dr. Pratt earned his bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University, as well as a master’s degree and educational specialist’s degree. He later received his doctorate in educational leadership from High Point University.