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District leadership changes to spark continuous improvement in Durham Public Schools


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Realignment takes effect July 1

June 10, 2022—Dr. Pascal Mubenga, superintendent of Durham Public Schools, announced today an administrative reorganization that puts DPS leaders in new roles and moves departments to accelerate academic progress, increase efficiency, and increase focus on the outcomes of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.


“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and thanks to our fidelity to the Strategic Plan, our academic performance had taken off and student enrollment grew for the first time in four years,” said Dr. Mubenga. “For the last two years our teachers, staff, and leadership have performed heroically in overcoming the pandemic’s toll among our students. Now is the time to make some changes to ensure our students and educators receive even more support.”


Stacy D. Stewart, Ed.D., has been promoted from her position as Assistant Superintendent for School Transformation to Chief of Schools effective July 1; the new position reports directly to Dr. Mubenga. Dr. Stewart will oversee the assistant superintendents who supervise DPS’s principals as well as the Multilingual Resource Center and offices responsible for federal programs, school innovation, and family and community engagement.


Dr. Stewart joined DPS in July 2018 to supervise and coach 15 elementary “Schools on the Rise” while also organizing and facilitating the DPS Assistant Principal Leadership Academy. After her first year of service, four Schools on the Rise exited the state’s “low performing” status, contributing directly to the decrease in schools labeled with an “F” under the state’s accountability standards from seven to only one. Following implementation of the Assistant Principal Leadership Academy in her second year of service, four assistant principals earned promotions to principal positions. Prior to coming to DPS, she served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Edgecombe County Public Schools, executive director of K-8 and federal programs in Franklin County Schools, and executive director of federal programs and school improvement in Hoke County Schools. She earned her Doctor of Education from Wingate University.


Dietrich Morrison-Danner, Ph.D., executive director of professional learning and federal programs, has been promoted to Senior Executive Director of Federal Programs and Community Engagement. In addition to his continuing roles in overseeing DPS’s support of schools through community education and federal programs such as Title I, Dr. Danner is taking on the coordination of DPS’s multi-departmental efforts to engage families and the community in catalyzing support for students and schools.


Dr. Danner joined DPS as a school improvement specialist before becoming coordinator of professional learning and then overseeing federal programs. In each role he directed the use of federal resources such as Title I, Title II, Race to the Top, School Improvement Grant, Innovation Partnership Grant, Title IV, 21stCCLC Grant, and ESSR funding to provide support for school innovations and educator development. He planned and implemented DPS’s Family Academy, which is the district platform for family engagement. Prior to coming to DPS, he was the principal of Healthy Start Academy, director of the Teaching Fellows and Edmonds Scholars, and Student Leadership Development programs at North Carolina Central University. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Hampton University.


In other departmental moves:

  • The departments of Information Technology and Equity Affairs are moving to Academic Services under Deputy Superintendent Nakia Hardy, Ed.D. Professional development will move under the auspices of Dr. Daniel Kelvin Bullock, whose new title is Executive Director for Equity and Professional Development.
  • The Research and Accountability department will also be repositioned under Dr. Hardy to be led by an executive director. Assistant Superintendent Julie Spencer, Ed.D. will join the assistant superintendents working with Dr. Stewart to oversee elementary schools alongside Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Ferrell, Ed.D.