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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: JULY 19, 2004


Citing his wife's appointment last week as a bishop in the United Methodist Church in the Mississippi Conference and residency requirements, State Superintendent Mike Ward today announced that he would resign his position as of Aug. 31.

"As a native Tar Heel, educated in our public schools and universities, I have been pleased to serve at a time when North Carolina has changed from a state whose public schools trailed the nation to a state that draws praise of the nation," said Ward. "I am forever grateful to the dedicated people who have helped to make such progress possible: former Gov. Jim Hunt, Gov. Mike Easley, and our legislators, who have continued to put public education first even during the most dire of budget times. I am likewise honored to have served with a caring and committed State Board of Education, especially during the terms of chairperson Jay Robinson, Phil Kirk and Howard Lee. And I am especially grateful for the chance to work with the teachers, administrators and community leaders committed to supporting the progress of public schools."

Ward said that he felt it was very important to be with his wife as she assumes her new leadership role in the church, and that because they will reside in Jackson, Miss., he would be ineligible, based upon residency requirements, to hold office beyond Aug. 31.

Ward expressed his confidence that the state's public schools would continue their academic progress and that with the continued support of the state's elected officials, educators, parents and community members, the goal of leading the nation's schools will one day become a reality.

For more information, please contact the Department of Public Instruction'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.