DPS CORNER: DPS leaders taking on new roles, staying focused

Jan. 20, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

This year, more than 33,000 children depend on Durham Public Schools to prepare them for college, career and life after graduation. More than 2,300 teachers, along with other school-based staff, work with these students every day. They all need our support in a time of heightened expectations and rising standards. These responsibilities haven’t changed, even though DPS is in a time of leadership transition.
While the DPS Board of Education works to establish a process for our community’s search for our next superintendent, I’d like to re-introduce you to some of our district’s leaders that will be concentrating both on stability and continuous improvement through the transition.
Acting Superintendent Hugh Osteen: The school board unanimously named Hugh Osteen interim superintendent. Mr. Osteen is a product of our schools, from Little River Elementary to Carrington Middle to Northern High. After working with an architectural firm for seven years, he spent the next 19 with DPS working his way up from construction engineer to deputy superintendent for operations. He’s a graduate of Appalachian State University.
Having supervised DPS’s building and bond programs for years, Mr. Osteen knows the importance of maintaining a firm foundation. He sees his priorities as acting superintendent as stability, the budget and supporting instruction. “We’re going to be focused on supporting the school setting -- students, teachers and principals -- making sure they have the resources they need to the greatest degree possible,” he said. “We have strong, experienced people in place both in our schools and in central services. We’ll be working together to allow our professionals to do what they do best.”
Deputy Superintendent for Academic Services Dr. Stacey Wilson-Norman: DPS remains focused on providing a quality learning experience for our students each day. Our emphasis on supporting teachers, principals and staff in their work with the necessary resources was echoed by Stacey Wilson-Norman, who was promoted from area superintendent for elementary schools to the district’s number-one academic official last October. “We want to make sure that our teachers feel supported with the professional development they are receiving and that our principals have a responsive central office that’s focused on the needs of our students,” Dr. Wilson-Norman said. “We have recently received our performance data, and we’re using that information to intensify our support for our schools. We’re focusing on teaching and learning in order to rise to our new state standards.”
Dr. Wilson-Norman joined DPS in 2000 as principal of Merrick-Moore Elementary School and is a former DPS Principal of the Year. She earned her doctorate from Gardner-Webb University.
“Durham Public Schools is a great place to be a part of,” said Dr. Wilson-Norman “Our goal is to make it an even better place, while keeping everything consistent for our students, educators and families.”
Next month: Meet the area superintendents who work directly with your elementary, middle and high schools.