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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: JUNE 28, 2002


Dr. Henry Johnson, one of the driving forces of North Carolina's school improvement efforts, is leaving North Carolina to become State Superintendent of Education in Mississippi.

Kenny Bush, chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Education, made the announcement today. Johnson, who has been Associate State Superintendent for Instructional and Accountability Services at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, replaces Dr. Richard Thompson. Thompson is returning to North Carolina to join the University of North Carolina System. He was formerly the Deputy Superintendent in North Carolina.

State Superintendent Mike Ward said of today's announcement, "The State of Mississippi has selected an outstanding new State Superintendent. Dr. Johnson is one of the nation's most innovative school leaders, and I'm confident he'll be a driving force for school improvement in that state. He'll be sorely missed in North Carolina, but we're proud that one of our educators has been chosen for such an important role.

On behalf of the North Carolina State Board of Education, Chairman Phil Kirk expressed happiness for Johnson and sorrow for the state. "Henry Johnson has provided steadfast leadership for our state's massive school accountability and improvement efforts. We will miss his guidance, but this is a wonderful opportunity for him and for Mississippi. We cannot thank him enough for all that he has done to improve our schools."

Johnson joined DPI in 1992. In his capacity as Associate State Superintendent, Johnson oversees the divisions of Accountability Services, Exceptional Children, Instructional Services, Workforce Development, and School Improvement. He also serves on various boards and commissions. Prior to joining DPI, Johnson served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Johnston County Schools. In his 30 plus years of experience as a professional educator, Johnson served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Pleasantville Public Schools in Pleasantville, New Jersey; and was a public school teacher for seven years, a principal for three years, and the Middle School Director for two years for Wake County Schools. He also worked as Director of Policy Development and Research for the NC School Boards Association and as a coordinator of staff development and as a consultant on programs for academically gifted students at DPI.

Johnson begins his new job on Aug. 1.

For more information, please contact DPI's Communications Division at 919.807.3450.

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.