CMS Officially Hires New Superintendent

CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools officially has their new superintendent.

Dr. Clayton Wilcox has his work cut out for him. Phase II of the controversial CMS student assignment plan is just beginning, as many Charlotte communities cry out for equity in education.

“The one thing that you’ll hear from me repeatedly as your superintendent is that every school has to be a great school,” says Wilcox.

Making those words truth is the task ahead for new CMS superintendent Clayton Wilcox.

The Board of Edcuation voted unanimously to officially offer Wilcox the job Tuesday night. One of his first tasks will be guiding the district through phase II of the student assignment plan.

“It’s important for young people to go to school with people who are different that them,” says Wilcox. “Different than them in terms of race. Different than them in terms of economic circumstance. Differences in thought.”

The same meeting also brought voices from the community tasking the board, and the new superintendent, to live up to their words.

“We’re missing an opportunity to elevate student achievement levels, while also helping this board reach its guiding principles towards student assignment,” says Northwest Charlotte resident Dr. Justin Harlow. “Namely, reducing poverty at high poverty schools, increase socioeconomic and racial diversity, while also keeping students in their transportation zones.”

“Capital funds come from the county,” Mecklenburg County commissioner Vilma Leake told the CMS Board during Tuesday night’s meeting. “And we provide you with capital funds. The problem is we have no control over what you do with those funds.”

Wilcox was chosen from a pool of 52 candidates to be the next superintendent during a very secretive search. He will make a base salary of
$280,000 a year.

He says doing what’s best for CMS students will be the driving force for his administration.

“We live in a world that’s very diverse,” says Wilcox. “And so I think that our schools have to reflect the environment that kids need to be successful in.”

Wilcox plans to start as CMS superintendent in April or May.

The first day for community meetings for phase II of student assignment is January 25th. The board plans to have a final vote on home school boundaries in June.