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NEWS RELEASES 2002-03 :: AUGUST 8, 2002


State Superintendent Mike Ward today announced a reorganization of the Department of Public Instruction that puts three veteran educators in key positions. The actions were approved by the State Board of Education at its monthly meeting.

Dr. Elsie Leak, the educator who has guided North Carolina's school improvement effort, was named Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and School Reform. She will lead the Divisions of Instructional Services and School Improvement.

Dr. Zoe Locklear, director of Teacher Education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, was named Associate Superintendent for Leadership Development and Special Services. She resigned her State Board seat on Wednesday, Aug. 7, in order to be considered for the DPI position. Locklear will lead the Divisions of Exceptional Children Services, Human Resource Management, and Charter Schools.

Marvin Pittman, Senior Assistant to the State Superintendent, was promoted to the position of Director of the Division of School Improvement.

In another major shift, Ward announced that the Division of Accountability Services will now report to Dr. Bob Bellamy, Associate Superintendent for Accountability and Technology Services. Bellamy will retain his responsibilities for Information and Technology.

No new positions were created with these changes, according to Ward. One position was upgraded to an associate superintendent's position to allow for the changes.

These changes were sparked by recent cuts to staff at DPI, new federal legislation and the Leandro decision focusing more attention on serving at-risk students, and the departure of Dr. Henry Johnson, formerly Associate Superintendent for Instructional and Accountability Services.

Ward said he was extremely pleased to be able to promote two individuals, Elsie Leak and Marvin Pittman, to these key positions and to bring Dr. Zoe Locklear's skills to DPI. "These changes will result in a stronger leadership team for our agency as we implement major education improvements. All three of these individuals are experienced educators who have the credentials and the talents that we need to continue our progress toward becoming First in America in Education. We also are pleased that Bob Bellamy will provide strong leadership to continue to strengthen our accountability area. Bob brings experience in technology and accountability to this role."

Locklear and Leak join Bellamy and Hank Hurd as Associate Superintendents for DPI. Hurd is Associate Superintendent for Financial and Business Services.

For additional information on these changes, contact Deputy Superintendent Brad Sneeden at 919.807.3441.

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.