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Charlotte Area News

CMS Hires 2 CMS Veterans, 2 Newcomers For Top Jobs

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools now has a top team that includes two CMS veterans and two newcomers. The CMS board approved Superintendent Heath Morrison's picks Monday. Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark is leaving that job to become Deputy Superintendent, Morrison's second-in-command. Morrison has been singing her praises since he was named superintendent, a job she had been in the running for. He continued to do the same yesterday. "I promise you if you ask organizations that understand schools, 'Give me the top 5 academic chiefs in the country,' you won't go far until you hear Ann's name," said Morrison. Clark helped Morrison pick the three other members of the team. Earnest Winston is Chief of Staff. In that role, he'll help Morrison connect with the community. He joined CMS as a teacher in 2004 and shortly after moved into administration. The district has long had a Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Staff, but those positions were lost due to budget cuts. The Chief Operating Officer position has been vacant since Hugh Hattabaugh left that job to become interim superintendent last year. Millard House II, the deputy superintendent for Tulsa Public Schools, will now fill that job. He'll oversee areas such as school police, transportation and buildings. House founded a KIPP charter school in Tulsa before moving into administration in Tulsa Public Schools. He was in the running for the superintendent's job there, but he says CMS lured him away. "Every school district has its challenges. Every school district has its successes and I've had my watchful eye on CMS over the course of the last few years. So, I was very interested," says House. The district's new Chief Accountability Officer Frank Barnes comes to CMS from Boston Public Schools where he served in the same position. Morrison says he hired him in part because of the way he double and triple checks data before releasing it to the public. Barnes says CMS is on the right track with the way it handles testing and data. "I think there's a great structure and foundation here. There might've been some shortcomings and some mistakes that happened in the past and we're going to make sure those are corrected and don't occur again to continue the success that already exists here," says Barnes. Morrison has stressed he's looking for a talented and diverse team. Three of the four new hires are African American. He's still reviewing candidates for Chief Information Officer. Morrison says he doesn't plan to fill Clark and Winston's former jobs at this point. Clark will make $190,000 in her new job, Winston $130,000, and Barnes and House $160,000 each. That's in line with recent salaries for those jobs.