The Pitt County School Board has named Dr. Ethan Lenker, current Sampson County Schools superintendent, as the new superintendent.
Dr. Lenker has held that post in Sampson County since 2008.
Pitt County Schools says Dr. Lenker has spent nearly 25-years in education, with more than 8-years of superintendent experience.
Prior to becoming superintendent in Sampson County, Dr. Lenker was superintendent in Jones County for three-years.
The Board of Education says it was attracted to the breadth and depth of Dr. Lenker's experience.
The search process included 17 candidates from six states.
The board says it feels Dr. Lenker's experience, credentials, skills, devotion and a record of success would best serve Pitt County students, staff and community for years to come.
Dr. Lenker's salary is $179,000 a year. His contract runs through June 30th, 2017.
Dr. Lenker received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Virginia Tech and later returned to obtain his Master of Arts in Education Administration. In 2006, Lenker received his Doctorate of Education from East Carolina University. He has also studied at the University of Virginia, Virginia Highlands Community College, and North Carolina State University.
The Pitt County School Board says Lenker has been instrumental in raising overall student proficiency and test scores each year during his time in Sampson County. Additionally, he has reduced the achievement gap across all subgroups and subjects, lowered the dropout rate by 50 percent, and increased the graduation rate.
Lenker said he is looking forward to returning to the Pitt County community.
“My wife and I have spent time in and out of Pitt County and we have always really liked the area and been impressed by the growth,” Lenker said. “We are looking forward to getting back to Pitt County, helping it grow, and growing with the community.”
Lenker has been married to his wife, Alice, for nearly 23 years. The couple has two children, Eleanor, 14, and Alexandra, 11. When he is not on the job, Lenker says he and the family enjoy spending time on the water kayaking and boating or at the soccer fields with their children.
The superintendent's job came open after Dr. Beverly Emory announced in March that she would be taking a job in Winston-Salem.
Michael Cowin, assistant superintendent of finance, has been interim superintendent since Emory's departure.