Pedersen was one of four finalists up for the American Association of School Administrators' National Superintendent of the Year award. Although Pedersen was not chosen as the winner, he said that it was a positive experience for him and for the district.
"As a result of the publicity, many people have come through with notes, e-mails and verbally expressing their thanks for what I have done and what the district has done," Pedersen said. "They have also said that they have confidence in our leadership. That has been the most gratifying part of this."
It is likely that Pedersen's exposure to the national media will draw even more attention to the prestige of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district. Board of Education member Maryanne Rosenman says she hopes that the spotlight on Pedersen will not encourage him to seek out other positions.
"I think that our district is high profile as it is," Rosenman said. "(Pedersen) will be high profile. We don't want to lose him. What is best for our district is to keep him."
But Pedersen says he is satisfied with his job and still has many plans for the district. "People have told me that I may be contacted by other districts or headhunters," he said. "But I enjoy working for this school district. I have one of the best superintendencies in the U.S. I'm not sure what could encourage me to seek out a new position."
Pedersen also said that he never thought of the award as an opportunity to advance his career. "I wasn't seeking the recognition," he said. "I don't want to use it as a stepping stone to another district."
Pedersen, who is the N.C. Superintendent of the Year, completed a "thorough and extensive" nomination package that included about six essay questions and was chosen as one of the four finalists. He was then interviewed by a panel and observed in a press conference.
The American Association of School Administrators announced the winner, Roderick Paige, the U.S. secretary of education and former superintendent of Houston schools at its conference Friday.
Although Pedersen was not chosen as National Superintendent of the Year, Board of Education member Teresa Williams says school officials have always been confident in his value to the district.
"The award is just an affirmation of what we have already known about Dr. Pedersen," Williams said. "He has always been worthy and hardworking. He provides superior service."
Pedersen says he plans to continue to work toward his goals for the district. They include improvement of minority achievement, dealing with the growth of the district, strengthening the curriculum and making more inroads for character education and responsible student behavior.
"Often as superintendent you hear about what is going wrong. (This award) has been a catalyst for people to express their confirmation in what we are doing right."
The City Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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