by Justin Vick
Think you had busy summer? Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other institutions had a productive one, complete with ups and downs – mostly ups. Here are the highlights.
June 16: Class of 2017 nets $157M
Three days after seniors received diplomas from South Mecklenburg High School, CMS announced that its Class of 2017 netted $157.8 million in scholarships.
Several schools in southern Mecklenburg reported huge hauls, including Ardrey Kell ($15.5 million), Providence ($14.8 million) and South Mecklenburg ($14.4 million).
Nearly $131 million were academic scholarships.
June 22: Governor visits CPCC
Gov. Roy Cooper visited the Central Campus of Central Piedmont Community College on June 21 to promote his N.C. Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce budget proposal.
The program, dubbed NC GROW, would provide free tuition to students.
June 27: Providence Spring gets new principal
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools approved Ran Barnes’ selection as principal at Providence Spring Elementary, a school one mile south of Charlotte Latin School.
Barnes has the experience of a learning community curriculum coordinator, assistant principal and teacher at CMS since 1998.
Summer Rogers has also spent the summer adapting to her new role as principal of Ballantyne Elementary. She previously served as an assistant principal at River Gate and Huntingtowne elementary schools.
June 30: Ann Clark rides into sunset
On her last day as CMS superintendent, Ann Clark tweeted a picture of her with a former student she taught at Shamrock Gardens Elementary. That student became a teacher.
“I’m so proud to pass the baton,” Clark said.
July 3: Wilcox officials joined CMS
After months of playing the understudy, Clayton Wilcox took the oath as superintendent of CMS on July 3 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
“I thank the board of education for placing their faith in me,” he said. “I stand on the shoulders of giants.”
July 3: Wilcox makes first PR blunder
It didn’t take long for Superintendent Clayton Wilcox to raise eyebrows.
Among the first round of contracts approved July 3 were Laura Francisco and her husband, Jody Francisco. Laura signed a four-year contract for $183,500 as chief financial officer, while her husband would be paid $85,000 as manager of culinary development, a position that was new for CMS.
Jody’s contract was hard news to swallow and raised concerns of nepotism.
July 12: Literacy efforts pay off
The Council of the Great City Schools presented CMS with its Making Strides Together Curriculum Award for its district-wide focus on literacy.
July 19: Candidates emerge for election
The school board will have at least three new members next year, considering Tom Tate, Eric Davis and Paul Bailey did not file for re-election.
Margaret Marshall, Jim Peterson and Jeremy Stephenson are running for Davis’s seat, representing the south Charlotte area.
Allen Smith and Sean Strain are seeking Bailey’s district, which consists of Matthews and Mint Hill.
July 19: CMS announces magnet enrollment increases
Superintendent Clayton Wilcox declared CMS would continue “as a national leader in creating and maintaining successful magnet programs.”
This came as several schools had waiting lists.
In 2017-18, there were 23,782 magnet applications, compared to 19,645 a year earlier, an increase of 21 percent. These numbers didn’t include applications from a third lottery.
July 20: CMS holds Summer Career Fair
Prospective teachers, media specialists and counselors arrived at CMS’s Summer Career Fair on July 20 at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology ready to impress hiring managers.
The summer is an advantageous time to fill vacancies brought on by retirement, promotions and departures from the district.