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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: MARCH 7, 2002


The State Board of Education today approved the appointment of Mary Norwood Watson as the Director of Exceptional Children for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Watson replaces Lowell Harris who retired in February.

"We are delighted to be able to promote someone of Mary's competence and compassion to this important position," State Superintendent Mike Ward said. "Her extensive experience both within the Department and with local public schools will allow us to continue the strong service we provide to local school districts and exceptional children across the state."

Watson formerly was the section chief for DPI's Policy, Monitoring and Audit Section of the Division of Exceptional Children. She began her career in the North Carolina public school system in 1972 following graduation from Appalachian State University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She went on to complete master's degrees in Elementary Education, Exceptional Children and Administration. Watson has teaching experience in the areas of preschool education, elementary education, adult education and special education. She also has worked as a compliance consultant for the state and as a regional consultant for special education.

In addition, Watson is a certified mediator and has experience mediating special education cases. She is a trainer with Learning Styles and has worked as a consultant for the National Council for Exceptional Children in the area of staff development and training.

For more information, please contact the Department of Public Instruction's Communications Division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.