The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Superintendent Receives Top State Honor

The head of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools was named superintendent of the year for outstanding leadership Tuesday and will go on to compete with other administrators on a national level.

Neil Pedersen, who has served as superintendent for eight years, was selected by the N.C. Association of School Administrators.

The association consists of a group of Pedersen's peer administrators who chose him out of all superintendents statewide.

"It's certainly a great honor to me and the school district," Pedersen said. "I take it more as a symbol of the quality of work in this district than individual recognition."

Elizabeth Carter, a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, said Pedersen is one of the most humble and modest people she has ever met.

"It's something that's long overdue," Carter said. "(The association) recognizes his accomplishments and achievements and the high goals he set for himself."

Pedersen also will get to compete on a national level in February, when the the American Association of School Administrators meets for their national convention. One person will be chosen as the national superintendent of the year.

School board member Roger Waldon said he believes Pedersen will be a strong candidate, primarily for his work with minority student achievement.

"Student achievement is clearly on the rise," he said.

"SAT scores are just one measure. He has put an emphasis on achievement levels of minority students."

Pedersen said he is proud of the work and progress he's seen in that area.

"I believe we've made a really good start in increasing performance of minority students," he said. "I've seen progress in SAT scores and state test scores."

Carter said those levels have improved because of Pedersen's leadership.

"He believes in children and preparing them for a future," Carter said. "He recognizes that it is the job of educators to make sure every child is educated."

Maryanne Rosenman, a school board member, said this district is the first in the state to require students to meet certain achievement levels to go on to the next grade.

She said Pedersen truly tries to help nonproficient students and listens to the concerns of the community.

"Not only is he a good leader, he listens to what people say," Rosenman said.

"In a community like ours, lots of people have a lot of opinions. He listens to all sides; he's a good decision-maker."

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