Wake County Schools

Interim Wake schools chief headed to Randolph County

Posted April 2, 2013

— Wake County schools interim superintendent Stephen Gainey announced Tuesday that he will be leaving North Carolina's largest school district to become superintendent of the Randolph County Schools system.

Gainey was appointed interim schools chief by the Wake County Board of Education after the controversial firing of Tony Tata in September. The school system hopes to select Tata's permanent replacement by July 1, the same day Gainey will begin his new post.

"I am very excited about this opportunity. Continuous improvement as a school system and a focus on keeping kids first will be our top priorities as we look to a bright, positive future for the Randolph County School System," Gainey said in a statement. "My family and I look forward to moving to a new community, making new friends and becoming a part of something special."

In a media briefing late Tuesday afternoon, Gainey praised the Wake County system and its school board, but said it was "time to turn a new page." 

"They have been tremendous to me. They have let an inexperienced superintendent learn his way the last six months," Gainey said. "It's been a great experience."

The admiration seems to be mutual.

"We are losing a stellar employee, a great leader," said school board Chairman Keith Sutton. 

Stephen Gainey Gainey accepts superintendent job in Randolph County

Gainey said he didn't apply for the open superintendent position in Wake County, in part, because he was already in talks with Randolph County Schools. He was drawn to that system for its size and its priorities as well as its challenges, he said.

"Randolph County grabbed me. They grabbed my heart," he said.

The Randolph County Board of Education said it was thrilled to welcome Gainey to the school system.

Citing a track record of raising student achievement and retaining talented employees, the school board said Gainey "leads by example."

"He is known as a collaborative, thoughtful and driven leader who can build consensus and who always puts the students first," the school board said in a statement.  "The board felt that Dr. Gainey’s credentials, skills, passion and dedication, in conjunction with his experience as Acting/Interim Superintendent for the Wake County Schools, would best serve the students, staff and community for years to come."


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  • rsmith6120 Apr 4, 2013

    This mess has gone on far too long. They are a waste of tax payer money. I say fire them all and start a new. Looks like they are letting personal agendas and differences get in the way of good contiguous decisions.

  • br549znc Apr 4, 2013

    Probably a wise move for him.

  • due_whats_right Apr 3, 2013

    Here is a tip for those who feel that he "bailed" on WCPSS b/c of the board. While I do admit the board is a mess, everyone inside of admin in WCPSS know that there is a new trend of hiring "from outside of the county" which has been in practice since we got the last supt. If Gainey wanted to be a Supt., which was the next move up from his current position (and he said he wanted to be one), he went outside the county to get it. Wise man. Had nothing to do with the board, the likelihood of him being the supt here was slim to none. So before you say it was such a shame, he did what he did so he could advance. It is not just in this position, but in schools as well. You have asst. prin. running schools yet they will not promote them to prin, even though they are more than qualified. They hire from outside of the county....and then guess who has to train the NEW prin....???? you got it, the AP that was overlooked. Just wanted to give you something concrete to make a judgement from!

  • glarg Apr 3, 2013

    Boy, this Wake School Board is really killing it. Is there anything that has developed in the last year that isnt a botch?

  • baldchip Apr 3, 2013

    Who would want to work for that School Board?? NOT ME!!


  • WralCensorsAreBias Apr 3, 2013

    Isn't this funny. They can't even keep the temp Super in place. So now we get a temp, temp Super. This is a heck of a school system that the parents have allowed to be molded around them. A heck of a mess that is.

  • stonespigot Apr 3, 2013

    Maybe The Reverend Doctor William Barber II should step in and fix all the problems. Oh I forgot, his specialty is "pot stirring". If it ever gets fixed he's unemployed.

  • injameswetrust2003 Apr 3, 2013

    We're losing all of our best people. Thanks, WCPSS school board. You should (still) all resign.

  • Ouiser Apr 3, 2013

    PRINCIPAL is the correct usage, people

  • admyank Apr 3, 2013


    It seems that the Wake County School Board, through their own actions, can't keep a Superintendent.

    Now, any of you jokers who think they have your best interest of your kinds in mind - your kidding yourself.