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NEWS RELEASES 2002-03 :: AUGUST 8, 2002


Dr. Elsie Leak, the educator who has guided North Carolina's school improvement effort for the past few years, today was named Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and School Reform for the Department of Public Instruction. Her promotion was part of several organizational changes approved by the State Board of Education at its August meeting.

As Associate Superintendent, Dr. Leak will oversee the curriculum and instruction and school improvement divisions.

"We are very fortunate to be able to promote Dr. Leak to this Associate Superintendent role," said State Superintendent Mike Ward. "She has provided strong leadership to the Department's School Improvement division for more than five years, and now our curriculum area also will benefit from her leadership. Her expertise and background as a local principal, teacher and curriculum supervisor will be important to us as we meet the challenges ahead."

Dr. Leak received a doctorate in education administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master's degree in science education from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. Leak earned a bachelor of science degree from South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, S.C. Dr. Leak is a native of Spartanburg, S.C., and has had a long and successful career in education. She has served in a variety of roles, including classroom teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels; science and math supervisor; director of elementary, middle and high school education; and principal.

Dr. Leak is a member of several civic and service organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Phi Delta Kappa, the American Association of School Administrators and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. Dr. Leak also holds memberships on several community boards.

Other organizational changes announced today include the appointment of Dr. Zoe Locklear as Associate Superintendent for Leadership Development and Special Services. A member of the State Board of Education until Aug. 7, when she resigned, Dr. Locklear also has most recently been the director of Teacher Education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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

The Division of Accountability Services now will report to Dr. Bob Bellamy, Associate Superintendent for Accountability and Technology Services.

These organizational changes are being accomplished without the addition of positions to the agency. One position was upgraded to an associate superintendent's position to allow for the changes.

For more information, please contact Brad Sneeden, Deputy State Superintendent, 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.