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Washoe County school chief eyes job in Charlotte
by Associated Press
Apr 09, 2012 | 1255 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune File/John Byrne - Heath Morrison, superintendent of the Washoe County School District, is a finalist for a similar job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the 18th largest district in the nation. Morrison was named national Superintendent of the Year for 2012.
Tribune File/John Byrne - Heath Morrison, superintendent of the Washoe County School District, is a finalist for a similar job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the 18th largest district in the nation. Morrison was named national Superintendent of the Year for 2012.
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RENO (AP) — Heath Morrison, Washoe County School District superintendent who was honored in February as the nation’s top school administrator, has been selected as a finalist for a similar job in North Carolina.

In a letter released Monday, Morrison acknowledged his interest in becoming superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the second largest in that state and the18th largest school district in the nation.

Morrison, who has been Washoe County’s top school official since 2009, said he’s been approached in recent years with job prospects from other districts and has always declined.

But he said Charlotte-Mecklenburg is inviting.

“I have high regard for their education system and the work they are doing to educate all of their children,” he said.

The North Carolina district has a student population of 138,000 in kindergarten through 12th grade, and another 2,734 enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs. There are 159 schools.

Washoe County has about 90 schools and 62,000 students. Over the past few years, it has had $123 million in budget cuts, and the district is looking at another $40 million in cuts in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Morrison will be interviewing in North Carolina on Wednesday and Thursday.

He said he hasn’t made a decision on whether he would accept the job if offered, but noted that his family has strong ties to the mid-Atlantic region.

Before coming to Washoe County in 2009, Morrison was superintendent in Montgomery County, Maryland.

“In the end, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community will make a decision that is best for their school district and I will make a decision based on what I think is best for my family and my responsibilities in Washoe County School District,” Morrison said.

Washoe County District officials say under Morrison’s leadership, the district has seen higher graduation rates and marked improvement in proficiency test scores.

He was named Nevada Superintendent of the Year in 2011 and in February was honored as National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators.
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