School superintendents come and go, and those who leave sometimes leave for good.
Not so for Ann Clark.
Speaking at First Baptist Church-West on Sunday, where she was recognized for her work in the community, Clark said she plans to stay in Charlotte once she steps down June 30 as superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
“I’m going to remain committed to the children and families in this community,” noted Clark. “I am deeply committed to public education, and specifically to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. This is my home, and this is where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”
Clark, who is stepping down at the end of her contract and will be replaced by Clayton Wilcox, said she did not know what she would do professionally.
“…It’ll be something on behalf of children in this community,” she said, “because that is certainly where my heart is.”
The Rev. Ricky Woods, pastor of First Baptist Church-West, praised Clark for what he called her commitment to reducing the number of high-poverty schools in the school district.
Woods said Clark “was willing to fall on her sword to make that happen, knowing it would be contentious in our community.”
School board members may soon vote on whether to move forward with plans to redraw school boundaries to reduce concentrations of poverty – a process that is sure to be contentious. Some on the board have pushed to move forward quickly, while others say the board should wait for Wilcox to arrive.
The board’s assignment review process started in 2015. The first phase, which vastly expands the district’s magnet programs, is currently being implemented.
Woods said he has found Clark to be a committed partner in addressing the district’s most pressing concerns.
“There are times within school board policy where there will be differences of opinion. We understand that. But I am so glad that, even when there were differences, we were able to remain civil,” Woods said of Clark.