After serving more than 25 years in Wake County, one of the school district's top leaders is leaving to become the new superintendent of Cumberland County schools.
The Cumberland County school board announced Wednesday that Marvin Connelly, the Wake County school system's chief of staff and strategic planning, has been chosen to lead the state's fifth-largest school system. It's the latest achievement for the former U.S. Army combat veteran, educator and pastor.
"We must graduate college- and career-ready students who can collaborate, communicate, think critically and who are creative so that all of our students can compete in an increasingly interconnected world," Connelly said Wednesday at the school board meeting after his selection was announced.
Connelly was an Army major in military intelligence with the 82nd Airborne Division when he switched careers in 1992 to work in the Wake school system. He was a program coordinator for the Longview School in Raleigh and later an assistant principal at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh before becoming principal of Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School in 2001.
Connelly became principal of Knightdale High School in 2004 when it opened. He was named assistant superintendent for student support services in 2006, putting him in charge of special education, student counseling and student discipline.
Since late 2013, Connelly has been chief of staff and strategic planning. He helped put together the district's strategic plan that calls for having 95 percent of high school students graduating by 2020.
Connelly is also senior pastor of Saint Augusta Missionary Baptist Church in Fuquay-Varina.