Education

One day after CMS student assignment review ended, a key player got a new job

Scott McCully (right) and Akeshia Craven-Howell at a 2015 student assignment review meeting.
Scott McCully (right) and Akeshia Craven-Howell at a 2015 student assignment review meeting. ahelms@charlotteobserver.com

Less than 24 hours after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools wrapped up its grueling two-year student assignment review, the Guilford County school board approved a new chief operating officer.

It’s Scott McCully, who has been the face of student assignment in CMS for 17 years. McCully has been in charge of student placement and planning since 2000, playing a lead role in assignment decisions that started with the debut of “the choice plan” in 2002, after the Supreme Court overturned race-based assignment.

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Scott McCully John Daughtry CMS

Most central office administrators are little known in the larger community, but McCully has attended countless community meetings to present assignment proposals to families and neighborhood groups. The lanky Kansan is known for being unflappable in the face of questions and criticism.

The latest student assignment review began in 2015. McCully and Akeshia Craven-Howell, who oversees magnets and school innovation, took the lead. The saga ended at about 12:40 a.m. Thursday, after McCully and Craven-Howell stood at their podiums for four hours to field questions during the board’s debate on boundary and magnet changes for 2018.

Thursday evening the Guilford board approved McCully’s appointment as chief operating officer of North Carolina’s third largest district (CMS is second) effective July 1.

That’s also when Clayton Wilcox takes over from Ann Clark as CMS superintendent. The arrival of a new leader often brings change in the executive staff. McCully is at least the fourth member of that team stepping aside.

Wilcox has reassigned Chief of Staff Earnest Winston to a new job as chief community relations and engagement/ombudsman officer, bringing in Laura Francisco, who worked with Wilcox in his previous job in Maryland, as chief of staff. Chief Human Resource Officer Avery Mitchell has been reassigned to a learning community post and Chief Communications Officer Kathryn Block has resigned effective June 9. Those jobs have not been filled.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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