By | July 23, 2019

There have been several high profiles departures at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in recent weeks.

The two involving the state’s controversial Innovative School District (ISD) – a program that was created to improve academic performance at low-performing schools, but that has met fierce resistance from communities targeted for takeover – have gotten much of the attention.

Former ISD superintendent LaTeesa Allen’s last day on the job was June 28. DPI officials have not provided any details about Allen’s departure.

Superintendent Mark Johnson has moved quickly, however, to replace Allen. Earlier this month, he named veteran educator and NCDPI staffer James Ellerbe to the post.

Presumably, Ellerbe will be involved in the selection of the new principal of the ISD’s only school, Southside-Ashpole in Robeson County. Bruce Major, the school’s principal resigned July 1.

Major worked for Achievement for All Children, the management firm hired to operate the school. The firm issued a statement about his departure that didn’t provide any insight into why he left.

Other high-profile departures include Deputy Superintendent for District Support Maria Pitre-Martin who left DPI last month to take a position as superintendent of Peterson City Schools in Virginia.

Deputy Superintendent for Early Education Pamela Shue also left last month to take a position at Appalachian State University.

Also, former director of communications Drew Elliot left last month to become a lobbyist for ElectriCities of NC.

And last week, Legislative Director Kevin Wilkinson and General Counsel Johnathan Sink both parted ways with DPI.

Here’s a brief look at some of the DPI vacancy numbers through July 11:

157 – Total number of vacancies at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

46 – The number of vacant positions with no recruitment activity

15 – The number of vacant positions posted

18 – The number of vacant positions in screening

32 – The number of positions for which candidates are being interviewed

31 – The number of vacancies filled

5 – The number of positions DPI is preparing to post

1 – The number of positions being reallocated

12 – The number of positions on hold

Source: NC Department of Public Instruction