Gov. Beverly Perdue has named William Harrison, superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools, to oversee statewide public education.
Harrison, a former teacher, principal and school system administrator, will serve as both chief executive officer and chairman of the State Board of Education, Lynn Bonner reports.
"We need to have a clear line of accountability," Perdue said at a news conference this afternoon.
Harrison has been superintendent in Cumberland County, the fourth-largest school system in North Carolina, since 1997. He also served as superintendent in Hoke and Orange counties and an assistant superintendent in Brunswick County.
In appointing Harrison, Perdue said she wanted to change the way the state's education system operates.
Harrison, a native of Pennsylvania, has a bachelor's degree from Methodist College in Fayetteville, a master's degree from East Carolina University and an educational doctorate from Vanderbilt University.
Howard Lee will step down as state board chairman and will serve as executive director of the education cabinet, which coordinates public and higher education in North Carolina.