Update: This article has been updated to include salary information.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY — New Hanover County Board of Education unanimously voted to hire a new superintendent Friday morning after a five-month search.
Dr. Charles Foust will serve has New Hanover County Schools’ (NHCS) new superintendent beginning the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year. He starts Tuesday, Sept. 1. Foust will be paid a $225,000 annual salary according to his employment contract with NHCS.
“We are deeply honored to have Dr. Foust and his family here and we’re so excited to get started,” NHCS Chair Lisa Estep said during the short Friday board meeting.
Foust accepted the position alongside his wife and two daughters, one high school-aged and one in 7th grade, who will both attend NHCS. “It’s nothing like serving as a leader and also being a parent. So I am just thrilled to be able to do both,” he told the board.
During his 23 years in public education, Foust has developed a reputation of turning around low-performing schools, according to his KCKPS bio. He told the board he will be a visible figure in school facilities and make frequent stop-ins in classrooms.
“That’s just who I am. I just believe that all kids have the ability to learn. And I just want to make sure that everyone gets that opportunity,” he said.
Foust recently worked for less than two years as Superintendent of Schools in Kansas City for Kansas Public Schools. According to a NHCS press release, the school transitioned from one of Kansas’ lowest-performing school systems to logging double-digit growth in student achievement.
He earned a degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in instructional education from North Carolina A&T, another master’s degree in school administration from U.N.C. Chapel Hill, and a doctoral degree in professional leadership from the University of Houston, according to his KCKPS bio.
Before the board hired Foust, Dr. Del Burns has served as interim superintendent since early March. Burns was hired after the board paid nearly 10-year superintendent Dr. Tim Markley $226,000 and allowed him to resign.
Markley was in the middle of a student sexual abuse crisis in which several school employees were arrested, each time with evidence or allegations that the school’s top administration was aware of their criminal behavior.
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