The following is a letter from Washoe County (Nev.) School District Superintendent Heath Morrison to district employees:
I am writing to you today to provide you with an update about the search for a new superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. I wanted to write you as a colleague to tell you personally about the situation.
During the last three years, I have had the privilege of serving this community as superintendent of the Washoe County School District. This wonderful community has welcomed and embraced my family and me from the day we arrived, and we have treasured every moment we have spent here. We love Northern Nevada, and I love being associated with the tremendous people of the Washoe County School District. I have been committed to the work we are doing here in Washoe County to improve the quality of education for all our children and have always said I would be happy to spend my career here.
As you know, I was asked to be a finalist for superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. The reason I agreed to seriously consider the potential opportunity in Charlotte when, over the past several years, I have said, No, thank you, to other such opportunities, is both family-related and professional. My wife and I have family near Charlotte, and I have a deep respect for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as an educational system.
Last week during the public interview process, I had the opportunity to meet the great people in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and learn more about the community. While I enjoyed that process, I also continued to think about the strong relationships I have built in Nevada and the amazing work that is happening in WCSD. These relationships are what have made this decision such a difficult one.
This morning, I was officially notified by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education that I was being offered the position as superintendent pending successful contract negotiations. After considering all factors both personal and professional and spending time in deep, thoughtful reflection during the entire process, I have decided to move forward in the process. This decision has weighed heavy on my heart, but I believe this opportunity is the right one for my family and for me.
I came to Washoe County School District because of a school board dedicated to making bold, courageous decisions for the 63,000 students in Washoe County schools and because of a community wanting a high-quality education system to make a difference in the lives of our children. One of the reasons I know I can accept the position in Charlotte-Mecklenburg is because of the foundation weve created together in Washoe County School District. Our educational improvement efforts have never been about one person. It is about the 7,400 employees who are all dedicated to every child, by name and face, to graduation. I know progress will continue in Washoe County School District because the Board of Trustees, our educators, and this community remain committed to the direction in our strategic plan, Envision WCSD 2015 Investing In Our Future. I am confident WCSD is going to be a district that the community, the state, and the country will continue to be proud of.
I appreciate the confidence and faith the Board of Trustees has shown in me. The leadership the members of the Board have demonstrated through some difficult times has been tremendous. It is essential for the community to realize how fundamental the school board has been in the positive changes happening across Washoe County.
I would like to thank every employee in WCSD for their efforts. This school district is led by an outstanding and highly-qualified executive team that will continue to work toward fully achieving every goal set out in Envision WCSD 2015 Investing In Our Future. Our schools are led by dedicated principals who will continue to push for excellence. Our classrooms are filled with talented teachers who do extraordinary work every day educating our children. Throughout the District, staff is committed to giving every child the best education possible by providing support and assistance to our families. Their hard work is truly to be applauded.
I also would like to thank the entire community for its support. From political leaders across Washoe County and the state to our local businesses, parents, and employee associations, words cannot express how much I appreciate your support and involvement in the public education system. The welcoming nature of the entire community and the kindness extended to me and my family will never be forgotten.
Making this announcement today is bittersweet for my family and me. While I am looking forward to working with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, the districts employees, and the community to serve its 140,000 students, I am saying goodbye to amazing colleagues and a community that has rallied behind Washoe County School District and its efforts to create a better education system for all children. I truly feel blessed for my time here in Northern Nevada.
This was an incredibly difficult decision. However, I can say without hesitation the passionate work of educating all children in Washoe County will carry on.
Thank you for everything you do for our children every day.