The state’s new education chief has started hiring his staff, picking up a couple of former Gov. Pat McCrory’s employees to work at the state Department of Public Instruction.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has hired Lindsey Wakely to the job of senior policy adviser and chief legal counsel. Wakely was McCrory’s deputy general counsel and was former legal counsel for Variety Wholesalers, a company run by conservative businessman, political contributor, and former McCrory budget director Art Pope.
Kevin Wilkinson is Johnson’s special assistant. Wilkinson worked at the legislature for former Rep. Rob Bryan of Charlotte. Bryan was key to establishing the state’s Achievement School District, which the legislature created to have charter-school organizations take over up to five low-performing schools from school districts.
A law the legislature passed last month that the state Board of Education is suing over would have Johnson appoint the Achievement School District superintendent rather than the board. The law is now on hold.
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Meredith Steadman, Johnson’s scheduler and special assistant, is a former McCrory scheduler.
Johnson defeated incumbent Democrat June Atkinson in November in the superintendent’s race. He took office last week.