Halifax County Superintendent Resigns

The head of a troubled school system here in Eastern Carolina has resigned for a new job out of state.

Geraldine Middleton is leaving as superintendent of the Halifax County school system on September 18th.

Earlier this year a superior court judge threatened to force a state takeover of the school system, which has been plagued with low student test scores. Instead the state and the school system entered into a partnership to help Halifax County make improvements in its schools.

Middleton, superintendent for the past two years, has accepted a position with the Chicago Public School System, the third largest in the country.


Press Release
August 17, 2009

Middleton submits resignation

HALIFAX – Geraldine Middleton, superintendent of Halifax County Schools, submitted her resignation to the Board of Education at Monday night’s meeting.

Middleton became superintendent in July 2007. She was immediately faced with a financial crisis from the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years. This year, she has faced a state takeover due to low standardized test scores for the past five years.

“It is both with resolve and anticipation that I submit my resignation effective September 18, 2009,” Middleton said. “I have accepted an opportunity to further my current career goals and achieve growth within a new adventure.”

Middleton said she has accepted a position as Chief Area Officer with the Chicago Public School System.

Chicago Public Schools is the third largest school district in the United States with 408,000 students in 666 schools. Middleton said Chief Area Officer is the equivalent of being superintendent to 30 to 40 schools within that huge district.

In a prepared statement, Middleton told the board and audience, “Two years ago, with a vision, a dream, and mountains of faith, I accepted the job as superintendent of Halifax County Schools. In this capacity, I served the children and the community tirelessly. I was vigilant in my attempts to raise test scores, create positive learning environments, implement new programs and create the financial stability of the district.

“Many times I was faced with difficult decisions and had to perform what seemed, the impossible,” she continued. “Difficult decisions are not always popular; however, if they are made in the best interest of children, they become challenges you cannot, should not and must not ignore.

“I will remain committed to cost effectiveness, innovative programs geared to 21st century learning, research-based professional growth and development – all the while dedicated to helping children overcome obstacles and reaching higher levels of achievement. In order to grow, we will always have to ‘navigate the winds of change.’

“To the children who attend Halifax County Schools,” said Middleton, “I continue to wish that you will grow educationally and always strive to be excellent in all your endeavors. You are the future leaders. As you ‘navigate the winds of change,’ keep in mind that if you are prepared intellectually, there is no limit on what you can be.

“To the parents of the children who attend Halifax County Schools,” she continued, “I challenge you to ensure that your children receive a quality education daily. By attending parent teacher conferences, PTA meetings, volunteering and by being an active participant in the educational process, you can help to facilitate a new vision and a bright future for your child.
“Underscored in this challenge is that you not just become active in times of crisis incited by politicians,” Middleton continued, “but instead demonstrate responsible actions throughout your child’s school years.

“To the teachers,” Middleton said, “I implore you to take advantage of the challenge to educate all children and to fully embrace change because it is incapable of being avoided. Always bring new vitality to the classroom and fresh approaches to teaching. Our children must never be the losers in an educational decision, especially if those decisions benefit someone’s political career and personal ambition.

“To the community,” she continued, “I encourage you to embrace the necessary changes related to declining enrollment, budget cuts, and low student achievement as an opportunity to use wisdom versus status quo, excellence versus mediocrity, strength and fortification versus what is politically expedient for someone else and reason versus inappropriate tactics.

‘It has been my genuine pleasure to work for Halifax County Schools,” Middleton concluded. “I have enjoyed working with the fine staff of professional colleagues and will miss my association with them. I will keep Halifax County Schools in my prayers.”


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 6, 2010 at 06:14 PM
    These kids still graduate on time and most them go to college
  • by Anonymous Location: Roanoke Rapids on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:02 AM
    Wow the lady oversees a failed school system in rural NC & gets a raise to oversee another failed school system. She should be fired & forced to repay her salary. The education system has stolen the futures of our kids. As long as we put these morons in power we will get the sam sorry results. Good riddance!!
  • by Neighbors Location: ENC on Aug 27, 2009 at 07:50 PM
    Judge Manning was on to something when he said the state needed to 'take over' Halifax. He dropped the ball, though. The state needs to dismiss every board member in Halifax, Northampton, Hertford, Bertie and Weldon City. Central Office, principals' offices and Superintendent offices need to be cleaned out as well as about one-third of all classrooms. These poor districts have the blind leading the blind and the dumb dictating to the dumb and the children are suffering for adult ignorance and foolishness.
  • by AC Location: Eastern NC on Aug 21, 2009 at 06:47 PM
    I had the honor of working with Gerry Middleton. She is an excellent administrator and puts in countless hours to help students reach their full potential. Congratulations Chicago, you have just gotten one of the best Superintendents from North Carolina. The problem with Halifax County is not the Office of the Superintendent, it is the power of politics that is more important that a child's education. The district did have more schools to make AYP and they did have growth. Voters need to ensure they are putting in people who are concerned about students and education. North Carolina has lost a great advocate for change in public education.
  • by welcome to Location: CHICAGO on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:17 PM
    Dear new cao, welcome to chi-town--first, you need to live in chicago, I hope they told you that. The district CAO Middleton is leaving behind: "plagued with low student test scores." Well, I am worried tha tyou are coming to chitown. "..In order to grow, we will always have to ‘navigate the winds of change.’" Welcome to the windy city! "Underscored in this challenge is that you not just become active in times of crisis incited by politicians..” “I encourage you to embrace the necessary changes related to declining enrollment, budget cuts, and low student achievement as an opportunity to use wisdom versus status quo, excellence versus mediocrity, strength and fortification versus what is politically expedient..." YOU UNDERSTAND MS. Middleton--you will be working for Mayor Richard Daley right? I hope someone is praying for you.
  • by LEW Location: Farmville on Aug 18, 2009 at 08:37 PM
    No Superintendant can do anything without the cooperation of parents. Let's face it, Eastern North Carolina is falling further behind every year in education. The few good students keep it from seeming as bad as it is, but they are being held back by disruptive kids who don't want to learn. It is time to enfore a "Child Left Behind" policy. If they can't learn-- kick them out. They are going to end up as welfare mothers or prison anyway, so why spend education money on them. Sad but true.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Aug 18, 2009 at 08:22 PM
    To: Me, here: Is that all you got out of "concerned parent" post, the miss use of a word? I will assume you never make mistakes, great. We will appoint you as "word police".
  • by TarHeel Location: Ayden on Aug 18, 2009 at 04:39 PM
    Thats all there is to it. Screw up one system, leave it in shambles and move on to a larger system where you can continue with your poor management. America at it's best. And to "me". You should not try to correct anyone when it's evident that you can't use proper sentence structure. Always start your sentence with a capital letter.
  • by Ken Location: Greenville on Aug 18, 2009 at 01:32 PM
    Now the Chicago school system is screwed.
  • by Disgusted Location: ENC on Aug 18, 2009 at 01:23 PM
    Wish the headline was "Martin County Superintendent Resigns"
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