CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Superintendent Heath Morrison named two outsiders and two insiders, including Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark, to key posts leading Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on Monday.
Clark, who has spent 29 years with CMS and was a finalist for the superintendent’s job, becomes deputy superintendent, in charge of running the district in Morrison’s absence. She’ll continue to be the lead administrator in academics, with her old position going unfilled, but she’ll also take on oversight of human resources, testing and data.
Earnest Winston, a former Observer reporter who became a CMS teacher in 2004, was named chief of staff, a job that includes helping Morrison connect with the public. Winston moved into administration in 2006 and most recently worked as executive coordinator for interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh.
Millard House II, deputy superintendent in Tulsa, Okla., becomes chief operating officer. He’ll oversee nonacademic functions such as transportation, business functions and building and grounds.
House, who has a background with KIPP charter schools as well as traditional public schools, was considered a strong contender to eventually become superintendent in Tulsa, Morrison said.
Frank Barnes, who is chief accountability officer in Boston Public Schools, was named to that post in CMS. That puts him in charge of testing and data — both subjects that created public tension in the past year, as CMS increased the level of testing and released inaccurate data about schools.
Barnes has worked with several community groups before going into education, and also worked on research and policy for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. The institute focuses on turning around low-performing schools, getting students ready for college and careers and looking at extended learning time to improve performance.
“I think we have brought some excellent leaders forward,” Morrison said after the board approved his appointments 7-0, with two members absent from the special meeting.
Morrison has repeatedly said he’s focused on excellence and diversity in his leadership team. Three of the four appointees are African American, helping lead a district where two-thirds of students are nonwhite. He said he was also looking for a diversity of backgrounds and views, for a team that’s willing to challenge him but unite behind decisions.
Morrison isn’t done building his team. But the first four appointments indicate he plans to keep administrative salaries roughly in line with what they have been in recent years, or slightly lower.
Morrison’s compensation is worth a little over $300,000 a year, including a base salary of $288,000 and eligibility for a 10 percent performance bonus.
Barnes and House will each make $160,000 a year, the same as the chief HR officer makes and what the former chief accountability officer made. When Hattabaugh was chief operating officer, he made almost $170,000 a year. Both of the outside appointees will also get up to $8,000 in moving expenses.
Clark’s salary goes from $169,638 to $190,000 a year, and Morrison said her old job will remain unfilled. When Maurice “Mo” Green was deputy superintendent/chief operating officer in 2008, he made $202,000 a year. Hattabaugh made $190,000 a year as interim superintendent, with a $10,000 bonus at the end of the term.
Winston will make $130,000 a year, up from $73,500, and his old job will remain unfilled. CMS hasn’t had a chief of staff in recent years.
None of the new contracts include performance bonuses. Most of Gorman’s top staff had bonus clauses, though no bonuses were awarded in the last three years because of budget constraints.
Also Monday, Morrison named Angela Richardson, assistant principal at Martin Luther King Middle School, as principal of Alexander Middle School in Huntersville. Richardson has worked for CMS since 1993 and graduated from East Meck High in 1987.