New Leaders in Charlotte, Cleveland, and Des Moines; Duval County Superintendent to Step Down

  • After a nationwide search for a superintendent, North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools selected interim superintendent Crystal Hill to lead the 140,406-student school district, the state’s second largest.

    Hill has served as interim superintendent since January 2023, succeeding Earnest Winston. Prior to being named the interim leader, Hill served as the district’s chief of staff, where she oversaw the Office of Strategy Management and was responsible for the management of the superintendent’s cabinet operations.

    Hill is the first Black female superintendent in the school system’s history. “I’m so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to serve the families, staff, and greater Charlotte school community,” Hill told The Charlotte Observer. “I’m grateful for the board’s confidence in me to do this important work.”

    Prior to joining the Charlotte school district, she served as chief academic officer for North Carolina’s Cabarrus County Schools, where she led the district in achieving the highest level of academic performance in history. 

    She began her 25-year career in education as a first-grade teacher in North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools. 

    New Leaders in Cleveland and Des Moines

    In 2014, Warren Morgan joined the Cleveland Metropolitan School District as a network leader for the district’s Investment Phase 2 schools, where he served until 2016. Nine years later, he will lead the 36,298-student school system, succeeding Eric Gordon, who previously announced he was stepping down in June after 11 years at the helm.

    At a recent press conference announcing the selection of Morgan as the new chief executive officer, Gordon handed Morgan a racing baton symbolizing the exchange in district leadership.

    “I am personally really excited to welcome Dr. Morgan home,” said Gordon, who noted he personally hired Morgan into the school district in 2014.  

    “It’s good to be home,” Morgan said. “I am extremely humbled, honored, but above all, just extremely grateful.”

    Morgan is the chief academic officer for Indianapolis Public Schools, where he oversees the academic vision, strategies, and policies of the district. Prior to joining the largest public school district in Indiana with 30,000 students, he served as executive director of an education nonprofit in St. Louis.

    Morgan will begin his tenure leading the Cleveland school system in July.

    New Leader in Des Moines

    Ian Roberts was recently selected to lead Iowa’s Des Moines Public Schools, the state’s largest school district with 31,000 students. Roberts, the superintendent of Millcreek Township School District in Pennsylvania, will succeed Interim Superintendent Matt Smith, effective July 1, 2023.

    Roberts has served three years as superintendent, where his focus was culturally responsive, quality, and equity-based instructional leadership that prepared every student for college or a career.

    Before becoming superintendent, Roberts served as the St. Louis Public Schools’ High School Network Superintendent in Missouri, where he coached, supported, and evaluated middle, high school, and alternative school principals.

    “Dr. Roberts’ focus on creating equitable experiences for students to thrive, paired with his commitment to continuous improvement, creates an exciting opportunity for our students, staff, and community,” said Des Moines board chair Teree Caldwell-Johnson in a news statement.

    Prior to becoming a special education teacher, principal, district leader, and leadership trainer, Roberts was a world class athlete, competing in track and field at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.


    Jacksonville Leader to Depart  

    Diana Greene, who has led the Duval County School District in Jacksonville, Fla., since 2018, will retire from the school system in July. She began her teaching career at an elementary school in the 129,000-student school district 38 years ago.  

    Under her leadership, the achievement gap has narrowed between white students and African American and Hispanic students and graduation rates increased. In addition, the number of “A” rated schools in the district increased by almost 30 percent.

    In 2021, she was named Florida Superintendent of the Year.

    New Interim in Phoenix Union

    Veteran educator Thea Andrade was recently selected as the interim superintendent for Arizona’s Phoenix Union School District. She succeeds Chad Gestson, who is leaving the school system he has led since 2015 to serve as the founder and inaugural executive director of the Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy at North Arizona University.

    Andrade currently serves as the chief academic officer, where she oversees the Teaching & Learning, Student & Family Services, and Safety Divisions for the 28,031-student school system. She is the first female superintendent in the district’s nearly 130-year history.