Get to know your new superintendent

Story by Kate Carroll, Staff Writer

When asked about the new superintendent, most students, like sophomore Will Stiff, don’t have much to say.

“I don’t really know much about it,” Stiff said. “My mom is a teacher, so it might affect her.”

What students need to know is, the superintendent has everything to do with them and their education.

A superintendent works with leaders and the school board and makes many day to day decisions on their behalf in order to better their school system. You can think of them as a “CEO” of the school system. People may come to them to address issues with education, spending and other topics dealing with the system. This important role will soon be taken on by a new face in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS).

Wilcox has been named as the new CMS superintendent beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.

Wilcox will be taking over the position from the temporary superintendent, Ann Clark, who has held the job for the past two years. Currently, Wilcox is the superintendent for Washington County Public Schools in Maryland, and has worked many other jobs in education, from working as a classroom teacher to serving as a principal. With a long history of working in school systems, Wilcox certainly has a passion for learning.

“My family has always valued education,” Wilcox said in an email interview with The Eagle, “from my grandparents and extended family, to the communities I have lived in and served. I have been blessed to be around people who saw education as means to a better life [and] I share that belief.”

CMS is a large school system, with a total of 170 schools. The switch will be a big change for Wilcox as he moves from Washington County Public Schools with only 46 schools. However, Wilcox says he is up for the challenge.

With a new school system comes a new city, which Wilcox is particularly excited about. He appreciates the diversity and sense of community that comes with living in Charlotte.

“The reputation of Charlotte and the surrounding communities [have] is an energy and sense of possibility driving the region and I wanted to be part of that,” Wilcox said, “CMS has a similar reputation as a school district – nationally people look at CMS and recognize that the district is progressive in its practices, that teachers and support team members are valued and that the student body is a rich, diverse and talented mix of young people.”

While Wilcox is impressed by and values the school district, he already has some aspects of CMS that he would like to work with the board to improve once he takes his position.

“Working with the Board of Education we will focus on the student assignment plan, working to secure great facilities for our students and the adults privileged to serve them and improving practices like communication, human resources and the application of technology as a tool for learners,” Wilcox said.

There is still some time before Wilcox will officially take on the job, but the transition process has already begun.

“I am spending time in Charlotte talking to community members, talking to current and former leaders of CMS, and visiting community groups and agencies,” he said.

The future superintendent is even reading the paper like a local Charlottean.

“I am reading all that I can about CMS, Charlotte and the surrounding communities. I start my day reading the local paper and The Charlotte Observer,” Wilcox said.