After only a few months since the last appointment, Orange County School System returned to an old favorite to fill the position of superintendent.
For the second time in a year, Del Burns will act as interim superintendent for Orange County Schools after Gerri Martin resigned on May 12.
“I have matters to address regarding a serious family medical situation that has to be a priority for me," Martin said in her resignation letter. "In December, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.”
Martin was appointed last October by the school board and served eight months of her term. Her decision to resign was accepted unanimously by the school board.
“We probably knew something about it a couple of weeks before her resignation,” said Donna Coffey, director of the Orange County Schools Board of Education. “We knew she was at least contemplating resigning to take care of her mother for a few months.”
Burns has stepped in to fill the duties of superintendent until a new one is selected, though he is not new to Orange County. He acted as interim superintendent in between the retirement of former Superintendent Patrick Rhodes and the appointment of Martin. Burns also served as superintendent of Wake County from 2006 until 2010.
“He was someone the district had already had a relationship with, and we knew he could be reliable,” said Seth Stephens, director of communications for Orange County Schools. “We value his experience, and he was prepared to offer his skills once again.”
Cedar Ridge High School Principal John Wheeler met the selection of Burns with enthusiasm.
“I think the selection of Burns is an opportunity for the district to bring us to the next level in education,” Wheeler said. “He’s as dynamic as it gets, he has a variety of experience and has the perfect demeanor for the job as superintendent.”