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Camden appoints new schools chief

100617CamdenSuperintendent

Joe Ferrell, newly appointed superintendent of schools in Camden County, addresses Camden teachers and school officials at Camden Intermediate School, Friday. Ferrell, who begins his job in Camden on Nov. 1, is currently executive director of secondary education for the Alamance-Burlington Schools.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Friday, October 6, 2017

CAMDEN — An administrator with the Alamance-Burlington Schools is Camden County’s new schools chief.

Joe Ferrell, executive director of secondary education for the Alamance-Burlington district, was appointed superintendent of the Camden County Schools by a unanimous vote of the Camden Board of Education on Friday.

Ferrell, who will be paid $120,000 annually, is slated to start his new job in Camden Nov. 1.

“I hope that you’re as excited as I am about a new adventure,” Ferrell said in brief remarks to the 70 or so staff members from the central office and all four county schools who turned out Friday for a special school board meeting at Camden Intermediate School.

In brief remarks, Ferrell thanked the Camden school board for having confidence in him, and said he looks forward to a partnership with the staff and community that he believes will “take us to even greater heights.” He said this will be a new area of the state for him but he looks forward to being here.

A native of Person County, Ferrell began his career in education as a fifth-grade teacher in Person. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Elon University, a master’s degree in school administration from N.C. State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Before assuming his current role as executive director of secondary education in Alamance, Ferrell was principal of Williams High School in Alamance County from 2011-16.

“We’re excited to have Dr. Ferrell here,” Camden Board of Education Chairman Christian Overton said at the conclusion of Friday’s meeting.

Overton said 27 candidates applied for the Camden schools superintendent’s job, which became vacant following the previous superintendent, Melvin Hawkins’ retirement last spring.

The most compelling thing about Ferrell for school board members, Overton said, was his experience and expertise in areas as diverse as career and technical education and exceptional children.

“It’s like everything he has done is leading up to being a superintendent,” Overton said. “The Camden County superintendent has to wear a lot of hats and have experience in a lot of areas.”

Ferrell, 46, has worked in education for more than 21 years. He has been a principal at the elementary, middle school and high school levels, experience he said Friday would be good preparation for being Camden’s superintendent.

Travis Twiford, who has been serving as interim superintendent since Hawkins’ retirement, said he plans to continue working through the end of this month. After Friday’s meeting, he and Ferrell spoke briefly about the transition process.

Ferrell’s contract is for a period that ends June 30, 2021. Besides his $120,000 annual salary, Ferrell will receive a monthly travel allowance of $250, plus out-of-area travel reimbursement according to state policy. In addition, he will be eligible for any longevity bonus put in place by the state.

The motion to appoint Ferrell and approve his contract was made by board member Kevin Heath.

Board member Chris Wilson was out of town and unable to attend Friday’s meeting, but Overton said Wilson had told the rest of the board he was fully supportive of Ferrell and had no problem with the board going forward with the vote.

The Daily Advance was unable to reach Wilson for comment for this story Friday. 

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