Pamela Baldwin, the current superintendent of Asheville City Schools, will be the new superintendent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education unanimously approved a contract for Baldwin to serve through June 30, 2020. She will start April 3 with an annual salary of $195,000 in state and local funding.
Baldwin replaces Interim Superintendent Jim Causby, a semi-retired consultant and former superintendent for Swain, Polk and Johnston counties and Hickory City schools. He has served since Tom Forcella retired Aug. 1, after five years.
Baldwin thanked the board and praised Causby at Wednesday night’s school board meeting in Smith Middle School.
“He is a fantastic human being, and a fantastic superintendent,” she said, “and I am honored, hopefully, to have some mentorship from him, and friendship, and a great transition.”
Baldwin’s leadership, experience, and dedication to students were cited as deciding factors in her selection from 44 applicants from 17 states.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found a leader like Dr. Baldwin,” Board Chairman James Barrett said in a release. “Her vision, her experience, and her skill set align perfectly with the plans we have for moving this district forward in the coming years to provide excellent education to all students.”
At Smith Middle School, Barrett also praised Baldwin’s work in helping provide affordable teacher housing in Asheville, “as we have such a clear need for it here.” In July 2015, Asheville City Schools partnered with Buncombe County Schools and others to provide 24 affordable apartment units for new teachers.
In a brief interview after the meeting, said she was eager to hear from the community, teachers, parents and students about what the challenges are.
“I know that equity is important to the system,” she said. “It’s also important to me. It’s my life’s work, really. So I would like to look at structural issues – if there are any – and hear from the students, specifically, who experience our education every single day.”
Her vision, her experience, and her skillset align perfectly with the plans we have for moving this district forward.
James Barrett, school board chairman
From her experience working on equity challenges – which Barrett praised during his introduction – Baldwin said success depends a lot on structuring.
“If you look at scheduling, if you look at grading, opportunities for access to higher-level courses, there are a number of issues,” she said. “And they’re all different depending on what school you’re working with, and what district you’re working with. So there’s not a one-size-fits-all. And there’s not one silver bullet.”
Baldwin has worked in North Carolina public education for more than 17 years.
She has served as superintendent for Asheville City Schools since 2014. Before that she was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Scotland County Schools; director of teaching and learning for Currituck County Schools; a high school principal for New Hanover County Schools; and a middle school and high school assistant principal and principal for Onslow County Schools.
Baldwin’s career in public education began as a high school science teacher in Jacksonville, N.C. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from George Mason University; a master’s in school administration from East Carolina University; and a doctorate in educational leadership and administration from UNC Wilmington.