Dr. Clayton Wilcox named next superintendent of Charlotte-Meckle - | WBTV Charlotte

Dr. Clayton Wilcox named next superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Dr. Clayton Wilcox (Source: Washington County Public Schools) Dr. Clayton Wilcox (Source: Washington County Public Schools)

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education announced that Dr. Clayton Wilcox will become the next superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Wilcox, who is currently serving at Washington County Public Schools in Hagerstown, Maryland, is expected to start at CMS starting on July 1, 2017.

He previously served as superintendent in Pinellas County, Florida and East Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"I am drawn to Charlotte-Mecklenburg for a number of reasons, first because your core beliefs are my core beliefs - that you and your school board embrace a compelling vision that all students must receive the best education available anywhere," Wilcox said in a letter to the community.

The school board went into a closed session last week to interview two finalists for the job. At the time, sources told WBTV the group of finalists was stronger than the group of finalists in the last search four years ago.

This was a private search process. In the past, CMS school board introduced the finalists to the community. Board members tell WBTV there was some pushback on this process but believe this was the best way to conduct superintendent searches.

“We set out to not only find the best superintendent but the best superintendent for this community," School Board Chair Mary McCray said. "Based on the input we received from this community, and our interviews with Dr. Wilcox, I am confident that we got both.”

The Board of Education will be introducing Wilcox to the community in the coming weeks.

Wilcox does come with some controversy. During his time in Pinellas County, Florida, he had public feuds with the school attorney and board members.  Published reports show mediation was sometimes needed. Also, the support of minority schools was in question in Pinellas County.

"It's not very reassuring," Local Classroom Teacher Association President Judy Kidd said. "When you read what's coming out of Pinellas county and by him bouncing to Louisiana and then going into the private sector then going to Hagerstown Maryland - guarded optimism I think is one of the best ways to phrase it at this point and time." 

CMS Superintendent Ann Clark says she has heard of Wilcox.  She gives him a thumbs up.

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve on Team CMS for more than three decades," said Ann Clark, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. "I am excited to work closely with Clayton Wilcox to ensure an exceedingly well-executed baton handoff of this amazing district and its outstanding students and staff. Our district is eager to welcome the new superintendent and I look forward to watching the continued success of CMS under his leadership."

McPherson and Jacobson, LLC conducted the search. They told the board roughly 52 people completed the application process. Of that number, about 6 people were semi-finalists for the top educator's job.

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