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Clayton Wilcox

Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) board suspends its superintendent

The 146,000-student district has not disclosed why Clayton Wilcox has been suspended; he has led the district since 2017.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) School Board has suspended Superintendent Clayton Wilcox with pay, but gave no further details.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Earnest Winston, the district's ombudsman, will serve as acting superintendent during Wilcox’ suspension.

“CMS can confirm that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education has suspended Superintendent Clayton Wilcox," chief communications officer Tracy Russ said. "The suspension goes into effect today, and Dr. Wilcox will continue to receive his salary while suspended....Because this is a personnel matter, we cannot provide further details at this time."

Wilcox confirmed in a brief interview that he had met with board members Monday morning, following a five-hour closed session on Friday, but said he couldn’t comment further.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg board hired Wilcox in late 2016 to oversee the 146,000-student school system.

At the time Wilcox was superintendent of a small, rural school district in Washington County, Md. He also had led districts in Pinellas County, Fla., and East Baton Rouge, La.

Wilcox arrived with a reputation as an innovator but with a history of having left his two previous superintendencies with boards split over his performance. He signed a four-year contract and started in Charlotte in March 2017.

In January, the school board approved pay and benefits increases for Wilcox totaling $37,000 annually and gave him a two-year contract extension, to 2023, at a salary of $307,000.

 

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