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NEWS RELEASES 2002-03 :: AUGUST 8, 2002


Marvin Pittman, senior assistant to the State Superintendent, today was named Director of School Improvement for the Department of Public Instruction. His promotion was part of several organizational changes approved by the State Board of Education at its August meeting.

As Director of School Improvement, Pittman will oversee sections that work with low-performing schools, dropout prevention, safe schools, efforts to close achievement gaps, federal programs and the state assistance teams.

"We are very fortunate to be able to promote Mr. Pittman to this leadership role," said State Superintendent Mike Ward. "For the past few years, he has been a leader in our efforts to address the achievement gaps among minority students and to assist in the implementation of student accountability standards. He is very well suited to lead our school improvement division."

Pittman has a master's degree in mathematics education from North Carolina State University and a bachelor's degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College. His career before joining the Department of Public Instruction in 1997 included service as a principal in several Wake County elementary and middle schools, as a mathematics and science teacher and as director of instruction in Wake County Public Schools.

Pittman has served on a variety of professional and community service organizations related to children and youth. Pittman and two colleagues developed a training program for North Carolina public school educators on multicultural education, components of which have been used in many North Carolina schools. Pittman has delivered both cultural diversity and character education training across the state.

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.

Dr. Elsie Leak, director of School Improvement, was promoted to the position of Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and School Reform Services. She will lead the Divisions of Instructional Services and 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.