Local News

Durham superintendent resigns, accepts U.S. education job

Posted November 2, 2009 9:27 a.m. EST
Updated November 2, 2009 3:10 p.m. EST

— Durham Public Schools Superintendent Carl Harris has resigned his position and accepted a job with the U.S. Department of Education, school officials announced Monday.

Harris will serve as deputy assistant secretary of education for policy and strategic initiatives. He has served as Durham's superintendent since July 1, 2006. He previously served as deputy superintendent.

From 1999 until 2004, he was superintendent of Franklin County Schools.

“It is with heavy but deeply grateful hearts that the members of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education accept the resignation of Dr. Carl Harris," Board of Education Chairwoman Minnie Forte-Brown said in a statement.

"Dr. Harris has provided a quiet strength in his leadership of our district over the past three-and-a-half years,” Forte-Brown said. “Dr. Harris leaves a school system that has improved academic achievement, a significantly lower dropout rate and a slate of new schools that offer support targeted to specific student needs."

Harris received the Central Carolina Regional Superintendent of the Year in August. Earlier in the year, he was appointed a member of a steering committee of The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to develop advanced certification for school administrators.

Six new schools opened in Durham under Harris’s administration, with a seventh in the works. Hillside New Tech High School, Southern School of Engineering, City of Medicine Academy, W.G. Pearson Magnet Middle School, Spring Valley Elementary School, the Performance Learning Center and the Holton Career and Resource Center all have opened in the last three years.

Lakewood Middle Montessori School will begin serving sixth-graders next fall and will open in the renovated Lakewood YMCA in fall 2011.