04/17/14 — Three WCPS employees have new duties

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Three WCPS employees have new duties

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 17, 2014 1:46 PM

Three employees with Wayne County Public Schools will absorb duties held by Assistant Superintendent for Accountability/Student Services Dr. Craig McFadden, who retired earlier this month.

McFadden, whose responsibilities encompassed everything related to district testing, also handled the exceptional children and the Title 9 programs. The Board of Education approved the personnel changes for his successors on March 6.

His duties will now be split between Dr. Sandra McCullen, associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction; Allison Pridgen, director of student support services and hearing officer; and David Lewis, executive director of information technology services and athletics.

The district has made similar moves in the past, Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said.

In recent years, when central office administrators Sprunt Hill and Olivia Pierce retired, their duties were split between others on the leadership team.

The decision not to hire replacements was partially based on the economy and attempting to streamline efforts at the administrative offices, Taylor said.

"In an effort to save a position, that's what we have done. Hopefully this will work. If we need to go back and restructure organization, we will," he said. "We don't know what the budget is going to be coming up with the state. I'm just trying to be as efficient as we can but at the same time I don't want to overload people."

Dr. McCullen's title remains the same but tacks on the additional duties associated with the exceptional children's program.

"I look forward to working with the EC staff and pants in meeting the needs of the EC students," she said.

Her career in education started out in 1972 as a math and science teacher at then-Brogden Junior High, before becoming volunteer instruction program coordinator at Southern Wayne High School the following year. She has also been a counselor in the district, was principal at Greenwood Middle School from 1989-1996 and then became director of secondary-middle-music in 1996. She has been associate superintendent since 2000.

Lewis, a former principal at Rosewood elementary and high schools, and an assistant principal at Goldsboro High School, previously taught and served as an assistant principal in Edenton. He was hired by WCPS in 2003 and moved to the central office in 2012 as director of elementary education/athletics. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in educational leadership from East Carolina University.

Last summer, he stepped into the role of executive director of information technology services/athletics when Mrs. Pierce retired. His new title will be assistant superintendent for accountability/information technology services/athletics.

"The biggest piece that I have taken on is the accountability and testing piece," he said. "It's really sort of a natural marriage that's going to occur with the state testing and the technology, since so much of our testing is going online."

Lewis said he had previously met with McFadden and discussed the new duties and is prepared to "jump in with both feet."

"I'm very confident to have great people in both departments as this merges together," he said. "We have had some formal and informal meetings but the two departments do talk about working together and talk about how we can work together to best meet the needs of the kids and make sure the transition is seamless."

Mrs. Pridgen now becomes executive director for administrative services.

"What has been added with this new title, I will be serving as the Title 9 coordinator, lead administrator for crisis management and response, and although it won't start this year I will be assisting Dr. Taylor in a supportive role with principal evaluations and mentoring new principals."

She is entering her 33rd year with the school system, being hired in 1981 as one of 17 health education coordinators in the state. At the time, it was still Goldsboro City Schools and when the two school systems merged into WCPS, she retained that position and has seen it expand over the years. She has been director of student services and hearing officer for the past 17 years, she said.

Like Lewis, she was given additional responsibilities when Mrs. Pierce retired, taking over as coordinator of the schools advisory council and in developing the district calendar.

"I'm always challenged by the opportunity to impact the needs of our stakeholders, our parents and students," she said. "I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to working with the superintendent and leadership team."