Durham schools name next superintendent
Posted June 5, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Bert L'Homme, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, was selected as the next superintendent of Durham Public Schools, the district announced Thursday.
L'Homme is a former Durham schools assistant superintendent and Franklin County Schools superintendent. He has also worked for the Children's Defense Fund as interim chief operating officer, director of education policy and coordinator of their cradle to prison pipeline campaign.
L'Homme replaces Eric Becoats, who resigned Dec. 31 amid several issues, including an audit revealing $15 million more than the school board originally reported to county commissioners, the cancellation of his district-issued credit card due to questionable purchases and using a school activity bus to take friends and family members to personal events.
L'Homme also comes at a time when legislative policies eliminating the cap on public charter schools and allowing low-income children to receive public dollars to attend private school have led to increased competition for the district, which has 33,400 students.
L'Homme's first day is July 14. His base salary will be $225,000 a year.
"Dr. L’Homme has a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness that cannot be overstated," Durham school board chairwoman Heidi Carter said in a statement. "He brings expertise with curriculum and instruction and proven success with early literacy initiatives. He has a demonstrated ability to attract and inspire the best principals and teachers with his exceedingly high expectations that he balances with the support they need to grow as professionals and to make sure all children learn at high levels."
As superintendent for the archdiocese, L'Homme oversaw 96 Catholic schools in Washington D.C. and five Maryland counties. Under his leadership, umbrella accreditation was achieved for all schools, which has led to improved academic performance, the Catholic school district said.
Other accomplishments include enhancements to teacher professional development, the creation of a teacher advisory board and instituting a program training teachers to become successful principals.
“Deacon L’Homme has greatly enhanced Catholic school education in the Archdiocese of Washington over the past four years,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, in a statement. “I am grateful for his joyful service and dedication to this local church.”
L'Homme received his Ph.D in special education/public school administration and bachelors in secondary education/psychology and history from the University of Maryland, and a M.Ed in K-12 special education/emotional disturbance from American University.