Thursday, July 25, 2024

NHCS special education director resigns, reasons unclear

The DA along with Sheriff have requested an outside investigation into allegations against New Hanover County Schools administration. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)
The New Hanover County Schools district’s director of special education resigned last week. (Port City Daily photo / File)

WILMINGTON — The New Hanover County School district’s director of special education resigned last week, less than ten days into the Fall semester.

Director of Special Education and Related Services Patricia Williams resigned on Wednesday, August 26, as the district was in its second week of remote education. Williams was promoted last summer during a slew of administrative promotions and reassignments; Williams was promoted from assistant director of special education, a position she’d held for about a year. She was promoted to replace Julie Askew, who was promoted to assistant superintendent of student support services.

Williams was by many accounts a competent and well-liked employee, and it’s not clear why she abruptly tendered her resignation. Many employees set their retirement or resignation date for July 1; resignations during the school year are less common.

While the district declined to comment on Williams’ resignation, citing personnel laws, it is no secret that NHCS has faced considerable challenges managing remote learning for its over 26,000 students. Among those issues has certainly been managing remote instruction for special education students with cognitive, behavioral, or accessibility issues.

Williams had been with the district for 25 years, starting as a teacher at Bradley Creek Elementary School.

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