FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools officials said during a news conference on Friday that a national search for a new superintendent will be launched following the resignation of Dr. Angela Hairston.
“Since being appointed…to the position of superintendent just over a year, I can say I was truly blessed with a great team,” Dr. Hairston said. “Our community’s incredibly diverse, and there’s so much opportunity for all of our children. The employees, parents and community spared no expense in time, talent, effort, treasures to help our students reach their goals in learning.”
Dr. Hairston said that deciding to leave after a short period of time was difficult but a decision that couldn’t be passed up.
She will remain until Nov. 13 or until the Board of Education determines a workable transition plan is in place.
When asked about workplace toxicity, Dr. Hairston said that the pandemic presents ongoing changes and stirs up emotions within the school community. She urged people to respond to stressful situations with patience and kindness.
“If we’re patient, and we’re kind, I think we’ll all be better off,” Dr. Hairston said. “My response is always be patient and kind.”
Superintendent of Schools for Guilford County Dr. Sharon Contreras called Dr. Hairston’s departure “a loss for children” and called for toxic work environments that female superintendents in NC deal with to be investigated.
Jake Hoke, executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, said no complaints were made to the association from Contreras or other superintendents.
The school system released the following information about Dr. Hairston’s resignation:
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston has tendered her resignation to the WS/FCS Board of Education. The WS/FCS Board of Education has called an emergency Board of Education Meeting today, Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. The Board will meet inside the auditorium of the Education Building at 475 Corporate Square Drive in Winston-Salem, in closed session, to begin discussions.
Dr. Hairston said, “I have the chance to accept an opportunity dear to my heart within another school district that I cannot pass up. While I am not yet at liberty to discuss all the details, I want the talented staff, and amazing students and families of this district to hear this news from me, first. I want them to know that working in this community has been a truly rewarding experience and I’ve been grateful for the opportunity.”
Dr. Hairston has shared with members of the board that she will work with them in whatever way possible to ensure a smooth and successful transition of leadership.
WS/FCS Board of Education Chair, Malishai Woodbury, said, “Dr. Hairston has done some incredible work in her short time here and while we are still processing this announcement, we support Dr. Hairston in making a decision that she feels is best for her personal growth and career.”
Chair Woodbury continued by saying, “Our Board has been through some difficult times in recent months, but I can assure you we will do what we think is best for students, best for staff and best for our community. We will begin working immediately to find someone who will take the reigns of this difficult work and carry on. We can’t stop, the learning must continue.”
Chair Woodbury went on to say the district plans to move forward with the approved phased reopening plan.
Dr. Hairston and Chair Woodbury will host a press conference to discuss more details about Dr. Hairston’s resignation, the transition of leadership, and the search for a new superintendent on Friday, October 16, at 2 p.m. inside the auditorium of the WS/FCS Education Building located at 4801 Bethania Station Road in Winston-Salem.
Dr. Hairston is the seventh superintendent for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and the first African American to serve in the role. She is the district’s second female leader. She started with WS/FCS in September of 2019.