Wilcox sworn in as CMS superintendent

Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox was sworn in as superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on July 3 by Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Donald Cureton.

Judge Cureton, a Garinger High graduate, administered the oath of office to Dr. Wilcox at a special meeting of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education held at 10 a.m. in the meeting chamber of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center.

After Dr. Wilcox was sworn in, the Board of Education congratulated him and spectators rose in a standing ovation.

"I thank the Board of Education for placing their faith in me," Dr. Wilcox said. "I stand on the shoulders of giants."

Dr. Wilcox also thanked outgoing superintendent Ann Clark, teachers and the staff.

"I want to welcome you, Dr. Wilcox, on your first full day," said Mary McCray, chairperson of the Board of Education.

After the swearing-in ceremony, the new superintendent held a media briefing. See highlights from that briefing here.

Dr. Wilcox comes to the district from Washington County Public Schools in Maryland, where he had been superintendent for nearly six years.

A native of Iowa, he began his career as a teacher in the Tri-Valley Community School District in Illinois in 1979. A year later, he moved to Waterloo Community Schools in Iowa, where he taught in elementary and middle schools before working in human resources, as an assistant principal in a middle school and as an elementary principal.

In 1994, he joined St. Johns County School District in Florida as director for personnel services, subsequently becoming executive director for human resources and staff development. Since then, he has served as superintendent for school districts in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Pinellas County in Florida and Maryland. He has also worked as a vice president and senior vice president for education and corporate relations at Scholastic, Inc.

Dr. Wilcox received his undergraduate degree and his master's degree in education at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his doctorate in educational leadership from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. He has also studied strategic planning and instructional design at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business and information management and telecommunications, instructional assessment and employee performance management at Viterbo College in Wisconsin.

In addition to his K-12 work in education, Dr. Wilcox has taught at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, and Jacksonville University in Florida. He has also served on the Pre-K-20 Council at Frostburg State University in Maryland and on the board of advisors for the university system of Maryland in Hagerstown.

He has served in multiple state and national education associations, including the Council of Great City Schools, the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the American Association of School Administrators, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and Education Research Development Institute. He was a governor's appointee to the Maryland Longitudinal Data Board and the legislative task force to study 21st-century school construction.

Dr. Wilcox is married with two grown children. He and his wife Julie live in Charlotte.

In related personnel changes, the district announced one new and two interim appointments to fill current vacancies in executive leadership.

Derek K. Root was named chief technology officer. He joins the district from Washington County Public Schools in Maryland, where he was also chief technology officer.

Prior to his work in Washington County, Root served as the director of technology infrastructure for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland. Previously, he worked as director of operations at Galaxy Information Services in Frederick, Md., where he was also an on-site coordinator and senior account executive. He holds a bachelor's degree in management information systems from Warren College in Agoura Hills, Calif., is a Microsoft-certified systems engineer and holds several Cisco Systems certifications.

The two interim appointments filled vacancies in human resources and communications.

Vincent Smith, executive director of human resources, has been named interim chief of human resources for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. He joined CMS in 1999 in a supervisory role in benefits, later becoming director of change management and then executive director in human resources. A native of Massena, New York, Smith previously worked for National Claims Administrative Services, a third-party administrator of employee benefits serving clients in the Carolinas. He began his career in operations for property/casualty insurance companies. Smith has a bachelor's degree in industrial management from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Renee McCoy, executive director of communications, has been named the interim chief of communications services. McCoy joined CMS in August 2014. Before coming to the district, she served as the public relations director for the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh and director of public affairs for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. McCoy began her career as a broadcast reporter, working in Georgia and Florida in radio and television before becoming a reporter and anchor in Raleigh. She has also worked as a media trainer and consultant, and adjunct instructor of communications at the college level. McCoy, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University.