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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: JULY 12, 2001


In action today, the State Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Otho Tucker as the new Director of the Office of Charter Schools in the Department of Public Instruction.

Dr. Tucker is currently the head of the private Burlington Day School and was formerly the head of Chatham Charter School. He is a member of the Charter Schools Advisory Committee, the group that advises the State Board of Education on charter school issues.

In making the announcement, State Superintendent Mike Ward said, "Dr. Tucker's experience as the director of a charter school and his strong academic background will serve him well in his new position. We are so pleased that we were able to attract a person with his many experiences and skills to this position."

Dr. Tucker's career includes service as president of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association and six years in various positions, including dean of students and head of the Upper School, at The O'Neal School in Southern Pines. He has a doctorate in Cultural Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

A starting date for Dr. Tucker has not yet been set. He replaces Dr. Grova Bridgers, who recently retired.

Charter schools were created in North Carolina as a result of legislation enacted in 1996. The first charter schools in the state opened for the 1997-98 school year. Charter schools are public schools that operate with more flexibility than regular public schools and usually have specific academic targets and themes. Charter schools typically focus on a new curriculum approach, a new school organization or some other features that set them apart from regular public schools.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.