Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools promoted a first-timer from within to choose its next superintendent, promoting its interim leader, Crystal Hill, to its top leadership post. She is the district’s first Black, female leader, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Hill, who previously served as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ chief of staff, replaces former superintendent Earnest Winston, who was fired in April 2022. In that role, Hill oversaw the Office of Strategy Management and Title IX and managed the superintendent’s cabinet in North Carolina’s second-largest district.
The school board was not unanimous in its decision, voting 6-3 to make Hill the permanent superintendent. “It opens up an opportunity for me to serve in ways that I’ve not been able to serve before,” Hill told The Charlotte Observer. “I’m just grateful to those who have gone before me who have been the first and charted the path. I just hope that I can reflect and be a good role model for our students so they can look at me and say wow, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’”
Hill will earn a base salary of $300,000 annually in a contract that runs until June 30, 2027, The Charlotte Observer noted.
Hill was the chief academic officer for Cabarrus County Schools, another North Carolina district, before joining Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She started her career as a teacher in Guilford County Schools, also in North Carolina, and has also been a principal, assistant principal, personnel director and executive director of elementary education.
We are pleased to reintroduce Crystal L. Hill, Ed.D. as superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
“Dr. Hill is an experienced school administrator and servant leader with a proven track record of success related to student academic achievement.” pic.twitter.com/3FNCNlFjQ9
— CMS (@CharMeckSchools) May 19, 2023
Like many superintendents both new and experienced, the three big challenges Hill faces are raising academic performance, recruiting quality teachers and improving school safety, according to The Charlotte Observer.
New faces in other high-profile posts
Three more leaders of color are stepping into the top role in three other big districts. Those new hires include Myriam Yarbrough in Baltimore County Public Schools, Angela Chapman in Columbus City Schools and Ian Roberts in Des Moines Public Schools. Like Hill in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Yarborough and Chapam are both first-time superintendents who were hired from within.