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Rowan-Salisbury School System Announces New Leaders

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education announced three new leaders for the district in April.

Carol Herndon was approved as the Chief Resources Officer. Herndon is a proven leader within the corporate and education sectors. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Herndon served in various roles at the Food Lion Corporation, including chief financial officer and chief administrative officer.  She also served as chief financial officer and associate superintendent of resources for the Rowan-Salisbury School System (RSS), as well as chief financial officer for Cabarrus County Schools.

“Carol Herndon has a deep desire to develop and grow both people and organizations,” said Dr. Kelly Withers, superintendent of RSS. “She has a proven track record of managing and leading large, complex organizations and driving positive change.”

Withers added that Herndon has a desire to build and inspire high-performance teams and specifically support operational results with speed and effectiveness. 

There were 21 chief talent officer applicants and three chief financial officer applicants.

The Board also approved Julie Hartness as the principal of Hanford Dole Elementary School. Hartness’ career in education has spanned 24 years, and she has served as a teacher, curriculum and testing coordinator, and, most recently, as an assistant principal at Forest Park Elementary School in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Appalachian State University, master’s degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

“Julie Hartness stood out because of her deep knowledge of curriculum and instruction, her tenure and commitment in current and previous roles, and her passion for serving children,” Withers said. 

Hartness’ accomplishments include successfully implementing Phonics for Reading and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs, significantly decreasing the number of discipline referrals and focusing on restorative practices. 

There were fourteen applicants for this role. 

Stephanie Gray was approved as the virtual learning administrator. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Catawba College and a master's in school administration/curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Gray is currently the interim principal of Summit Virtual Academy and an assistant principal at Hanford Dole Elementary School.  Prior to these roles, she served as an elementary classroom teacher for nine years. 

“As the interim principal at Summit Virtual Academy this year, Stephanie Gray has created frameworks that will benefit the school’s instructional practices and create stability for students and staff,” Withers said, adding that Gray has a passion for growing virtual learning in RSS.

“Her background in virtual learning allowed her to showcase the innovative approach that she will bring not only in growing virtual learning at Summit Virtual Academy, but across our district.”

There were 26 applicants for this position.