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Interim ECPPS superintendent not seeking permanent job

041619 Board Members

Rhonda James-Davis, director of career and technical education for the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, is also currently serving as ECPPS' interim superintendent.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Rhonda James-Davis said Monday she loves career and technical education and is excited about returning to it full time when her stint as Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools’ interim superintendent is completed.

James-Davis, who was named interim superintendent April 4 after Joanne Sanders — also an interim superintendent — unexpectedly retired from the school district, said in her first press interview Monday that she has no plans to seek the job permanently.

Even though she’s held a superintendent’s license since 2002, James-Davis said she did not apply for ECPPS’ vacant superintendent’s job.

“Did I say I love CTE?” she said, smiling.

James-Davis, who has been career and technical education director for ECPPS since 2015, said she looks forward to working on some CTE initiatives when she returns to that position full time.

The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education is in the process of selecting a superintendent for the school district. Previous Superintendent Larry Cartner resigned shortly before the start of this school year in August 2018.

Sanders was named to succeed Cartner as interim superintendent, and had been fulfilling that role until her abrupt retirement for what she said were “personal reasons” on April 4.

James-Davis said the work as interim superintendent has gone well so far.

“I can’t say there have been any surprises,” she said. “We have always worked as a team here.”

James-Davis said she appreciates the “outpouring of support” she has received from colleagues since starting the interim superintendent role. The emphasis on teamwork continues, she said.

“I have been telling everyone, ‘we’re going to get through this together,’” she said.

James-Davis said her experience has prepared her for the current assignment.

“I have been a school administrator for a long time,” she said.

Her long experience has taught her two things: that she doesn’t know everything; and where she can go for answers for whatever it is she doesn’t know.

James-Davis’ first week or so on the job as interim superintendent was focused largely on completing preparation of the school district’s 2019-20 budget request. With that now behind her, James-Davis said her focus has shifted to classroom instruction and will remain there for the remainder of her stint as interim superintendent.

Right now she is looking at what the schools can and should be doing when it comes to remediation and enrichment. Students will begin annual state-mandated testing in about six weeks, she noted.

James-Davis will continue to serve as ECPPS’ director of CTE while fulfilling her duties as the district’s interim superintendent.

“That is my choice,” James-Davis explained. “That is my baby.”

James-Davis spent 22 years in Currituck as a teacher, principal and eventually director of secondary education, including CTE director.

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