The Beaufort County Board of Education has selected North Carolina superintendent Jeffrey Moss to lead the district.
Moss is currently superintendent of the 9,850-student Lee County Schools in Sanford, N.C., was selected over Gloria J. Davis, superintendent of the 9,100-student Decatur Public Schools in Decatur, Ill.
The school district and Moss must still sign a contract.
Here are more details from a release:
"This was a very difficult decision for the Board because we had to choose between two excellent candidates," said Board Chairman Bill Evans. "Dr. Moss ultimately was our choice because of his strong commitment to technology and the history of academic improvements in the districts he has led. We repeatedly heard about his ability to get the most out of people and his ability to put the right staff in the right place to make the biggest difference in the lives of kids."
Evans also cited as positives Moss' expertise in financial matters, his commitment to alternative education and his support for public school choice.
Moss and Davis had visited Beaufort County for interviews with Board members as well as for question-and-answer sessions with district employees and community forums that were televised live on the Beaufort County Channel. Comments on the finalists were forwarded to the Board for consideration in the decision-making process. Evans and three other Board members visited the home districts of Moss and Davis earlier this week.
Ray and Associates, an Iowa-based firm hired by the Board to coordinate the national search, received 122 applications from candidates in 42 states. The consultants conducted background checks on the 122 applicants and brought 11 candidates to the Board, which interviewed seven before announcing three finalists, a number that was eventually reduced to two.
Moss is a 30-year education veteran who began his K-12 career in Hoke County, N.C., where he worked as a teacher, as director of vocational and technical education, as assistant district superintendent for instruction and as technology and associate superintendent for curriculum and technology. Prior to becoming superintendent in Lee County, he served as superintendent of Beaufort County (Washington, N.C.) Schools for five years and as superintendent of Stanly County (Albemarle, N.C.) Schools for three years.
Among his accomplishments as superintendent in Lee County, Moss cited establishing a laptop computer program for all students and staff in grades 3-12, encouraging students to enroll in higher-level classes, and expanding career and technical education programs through apprenticeships and school-based academics. During his tenure, Lee County's on-time graduation rate increased dramatically and the dropout rate fell, particularly among minority and economically disadvantaged students.
Moss currently serves as the chairman for the Sandhills Regional Education Consortium and recently completed chairing a North Carolina Association of School Administrators committee on performance pay that resulted in a recommendation that was presented to the North Carolina General Assembly last month.
Moss was the recipient of the North Carolina Technology in Education Society 2011 Outstanding Leader Award and is currently a nominee for the International Society for Technology in Education Outstanding Leader Award. He was the 2012 Outstanding Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Administrator for North Carolina and is also a three-time nominee for the North Carolina Superintendent of the Year award.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Pembroke State University, a Master's Degree from North Carolina A&T University and a Ph.D. in Education Administration from South Carolina State University.