Politics & Government

Former McCrory administration employees named to state school leadership positions

N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson talks about charter schools at his office in Raleigh, NC on Feb. 8, 2017.
N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson talks about charter schools at his office in Raleigh, NC on Feb. 8, 2017. News & Observer file photo

State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson has hired one of former Gov. Pat McCroy’s cabinet secretaries to be one of his top deputies at the state Department of Public Instruction.

Kathryn Johnston, who was secretary of the state Department of Administration under McCrory, will serve in the newly created position of deputy superintendent for operations. Johnston, who has also been budget director for the City of Wilmington and a city manager in Florida, will lead DPI’s procurement, contracts, IT, HR and other operational functions.

Johnston’s new position is part of a shakeup of the leadership of DPI that Johnson announced after the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a 2016 state law transferring some of the powers of the State Board of Education to the superintendent.

Johnson announced two other additions to his leadership team on Thursday. He said Michael Wells will be the director of federal programs and Barbara Roper will be the new chief financial officer.

”I am pleased to be adding such great talent to the Department of Public Instruction’s leadership team,” Johnson said in a written statement. “All three of these folks have the experience in their fields to allow us to continue to transform public education in North Carolina to benefit every student in our schools.”

Roper, who was a deputy secretary at the Department of Administration under McCrory, will oversee DPI’s financial operations. She replaces Adam Levinson, who was fired by Johnson, according to EdNC.

Johnson had opposed Levinson’s hiring as chief financial officer by the State Board of Education. After the court ruling, Johnson demoted Levinson in the new DPI organizational chart.

Johnson, the first Republican elected schools superintendent in more than 100 years in 2016, has hired several other former McCroy administration employees to work for him.

T. Keung Hui: 919-829-4534, @nckhui
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