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Bertie district leader takes ECPPS post

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New Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Superintendent Catherine Edmonds (left) speaks with school staff and faculty members after her election as superintendent by the EC-Pasquotank Board of Education, Monday.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Bertie County Schools Superintendent Catherine Edmonds will become the superintendent of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools July 1.

The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education voted unanimously Monday afternoon to name Edmonds to the post.

“I know that we will work together and put children first in all the decisions that we make,” Edmonds said in a brief statement after the school board’s meeting Monday, which was held in the auditorium at Sheep-Harney Elementary School. She said she is looking forward to listening to students, teachers, parents, retired teachers and anyone in the community who is interested in helping her recognize what is already working and how the school district can move forward to best serve all its students.

Edmonds has been superintendent of the Bertie County Schools since February 2018. Before that she worked for  the University of North Carolina System as director of educational leadership and development and the state director of the N.C. Principal Fellows Program.

Interim Superintendent Rhonda James-Davis also addressed the gathering, telling the audience she is happy that the new superintendent will soon be on board.

Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education Chairwoman Sharon Warden said the board was “extremely proud and excited” to have members of the public present for the election and announcement of Edmonds as the new superintendent.

“We have been through a very long and thorough process,” Warden said of the superintendent search.

The N.C School Boards Association assisted in the superintendent search. Larry Cartner resigned as superintendent shortly before of the school year in August 2018, and Joanne Sanders served as acting superintendent and then interim superintendent until she resigned last month and James-Davis was appointed interim superintendent.

Edmonds began her career in education as a teacher in the Granville County Schools and was Granville’s Teacher of the Year in 2001.She later served as an assistant principal and principal in the Granville County Schools.

Since leaving Granville, Edmonds has been instructional improvement officer for the Guilford County Schools and District Transformation Coach Team Lead and Halifax Lead for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. She led the state district transformation team in Halifax County for five years, during which time the number of low performing schools dropped from seven to two, high school proficiency moved from 40 percent to close to 70 percent, and the overall high school graduation rate increased 4.7 percent, according to information provided by ECPPS.

P.W. Moore Elementary School Principal Dexter Jackson-Heard said he looks forward to meeting with Edmonds and learning more about her vision for ECPPS.

“I’m very excited,” Jackson-Heard said.

He said her experience seems well-suited to the work that needs to be done in the school district.

“I feel confident we can get some good things done,” Jackson-Heard said.

Pasquotank County Commissioner Charles Jordan said he believes Edmonds will be a strong leader for the schools.

“Her credentials sound real good to me,” Jordan said, noting especially her experience with school and district turnaround. “The commissioners are going to do all that we can to work with her to make it happen.”

Edmonds expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve as superintendent of ECPPS in a statement released by the school district.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity afforded to me as the superintendent of Elizabeth City- Pasquotank Public Schools,” Edmonds said. “I look forward to working with the board of education members to ensure all students receive a quality education. I believe putting students at the center of all decisions along with high expectations, support, accountability, and celebrations will yield the desired outcomes for all.”

Edmonds holds a bachelor of science degree in math education from N.C. A&T State University, and a master of administration and supervision degree and doctorate in educational leadership from N.C. State University.

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