Durham schools name next superintendent

Posted June 5, 2014

Durham Public Schools Superintendent Bert L'Homme (Courtesy of Archdiocese of Washington)

— 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.


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  • Anita Woody Jun 6, 2014

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    He is an advocate of children and education and well respected. As far as bing okay, absolutely. He's going to be CEO of a half billion dollar company. Funny you bring that up defending the governor offering hundreds of thousands to kids who worked on his campaign win no experience. Durham is fortunate.

  • Ginger Lynn Jun 6, 2014
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    This is wonderful news! I went to several school meetings where Dr L'homme spoke when he was an assistant superintendent in Durham. He is truly devoted to educating our children. We are more than lucky that he is leaving a privileged parochial school system to come back and help in Durham!

  • j9us Jun 6, 2014

    It will not be hard to improve from his predecessor.

  • Greg Boop Jun 6, 2014
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    After reading about his background, I believe that Bert L'Homme is an excellent selection for the next superintendent of Durham Public Schools. Prior his role as superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, he has a long history of successful administrative positions in public schools.

    I certainly hope he adds significant value to the Durham public school system over the upcoming years.

  • mramorak Jun 6, 2014

    WRAL is not publishing the good comments like.Seeing him
    He's going to need a lot of luck.

  • Lee Bennett Jun 6, 2014
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    At $225K, he is making about 5 times the salary of the average teacher in the system. That seems entirely reasonable, and a far cry from corporate CEOs who are paid 300 to 400 times the average salary of other workers in their companies for no valid reason.

  • DurhamDevil Jun 5, 2014

    Integrity and trustworthiness are words that were not used when it came to describing the previous superintendent of DPS.

    I am cautiously optimistic about this new appointee. We have a lot of ground to make up.

  • Roland Kandalbar Jun 5, 2014
    user avatar

    I wish him the best. He's a pretty well-qualified person. He's probably worth his salary. Nice to see people educating children in a leadership capacity making good money.

  • stymieindurham Jun 5, 2014

    Let's see . . . . . . . . that's $4,326.92 a week. Or, $18,750.00 a month. Nice paycheck. By the way. Are any of you who loath CEO salaries OK with this?????

  • jmc3 Jun 5, 2014

    Excellent choice!