Rydell Harrison, assistant superintendent for CHCCS, will transfer to Watertown, Conn. after this school year. In addition, Sulura Williams-Jackson will retire as principal at Chapel Hill High School. She began as principal of Chapel Hill High in 2013.
"Jackson will finish out the year and become the construction liaison for Chapel Hill High School,” said Jeff Nash, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesperson.
Jackson will become the educational liaison for the construction and renovation at Chapel Hill High. The plans include renovations to academic and athletic facilities to add approximately 163,000 square footage of space. The Community Design Commission has a meeting scheduled to discuss the project Tuesday.
Jackson originally came to Chapel Hill High from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Mich.
In June 2014, Jackson told teachers and parents in a public town hall meeting that if she wasn’t able to turn the school around in two or three years, she would resign as principal.
Only 14.3 percent of Chapel Hill High School teachers felt comfortable raising concerns in 2014, while in 2016, 35.8 percent felt comfortable communicating and highlighting issues, according to reports by North Carolina Teaching Working Conditions Survey.
Harrison was appointed to assistant superintendent of instructional services in 2016. Harrison will finish out the academic year in his current post before leaving to be the new superintendent in Watertown.
“I will miss the people the most,” Harrison said in an email. “During my time in CHCCS, I have built great relationships with staff, students and families.”
Harrison was able to point to multiple programs that provided more resources and training for CHCCS teachers, but spoke in depth about spearheading one in particular.
“Project ADVANCE has provided us with the infrastructure needed to ensure staff had the necessary training to implement large scale district initiatives," Harrison said. "Since its launch in the fall of 2016, almost 600 staff members have taken equity courses focused on culturally relevant teaching strategies and 500 have completed training in restorative practices and circles.”
But Harrison hasn’t finished his work for CHCCS yet.
“Prior to my departure, I will continue to work with district and school leaders to strengthen our core instruction to ensure we consistently meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all of our students,” Harrison said. “I believe this work will serve as the foundation for our strategic plan.”
Harrison emphasized the importance of personal relationships in education.
“During my tenure in CHCCS, I've learned the importance of developing strong partnerships between staff, students, families and community members,” Harrison said. “These partnerships are the result of building positive relationships with others and I plan to make that my focus as I transition into this new role.”