EAST SPENCER — The next superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System is the current leader of a school system in Rock Hill, S.C.
Dr. Lynn Moody, superintendent of Rock Hill Schools, was named to her new position by the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education on Monday night.
Starting in October, she will replace current superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom, who announced her retirement in March. Grissom has worked for eight years in the Rowan-Salisbury School System and for more than 43 years in public education.
After a closed session near the start of its Monday meeting, the school board unanimously voted to approve Moody’s contract.
“I believe the process worked very effectively, and we hired the best candidate with the skills the system needs to move forward,” Chairman Richard Miller said after the meeting. “I think all of us believe that her skill to bring about change, and bringing groups together and making those changes, is a strength for her.”
The new superintendent for the Rowan-Salisbury School System will be formally introduced at 4 p.m. today in the first floor lobby of the Gateway Building, located at 204 E. Innes St. in Salisbury.
An official reception is being planned for October to allow the Rowan-Salisbury School System staff and Rowan County citizens the opportunity to personally meet the new leader.
During Monday’s meeting, Miller read the following statement from Moody:
“I’m excited and looking forward to the opportunity to serve as the superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System beginning Oct. 1, 2013. Dr. Judy Grissom has been an outstanding leader, and I hope to continue moving the school system forward.
“I believe this new adventure will certainly be both rewarding and challenging.
“I have worked in the Rock Hill system for the past 10 years — seven as superintendent. I hope to bring worthwhile and relevant experiences from Rock Hill with me to Rowan-Salisbury. I am a product of the public schools of North Carolina, and the majority of my professional career has been in the public schools of North Carolina.
“I hope to spend the majority of my first six months doing a great deal of listening and learning, because I must learn as much as I want the students to do.
“In a few weeks, my husband and I will begin our transition and be looking for a home in the Rowan-Salisbury area. During this transition, I hope to have number of opportunities to work with Dr. Grissom, the board and the community. Please continue to work with her up until the day I arrive. I know that she still has plans and expectations for all of you. See you in October.”
Grissom said Monday that she was not involved in the selection process and knew little about her successor. Grissom’s retirement is effective Sept. 30.
“Dr. Grissom will be a tough act to follow,” said Vice -Chairwoman Kay Wright Norman. “I think (Moody) understands she has some things to learn and some people to listen to. We probably won’t know when she arrives on her first day what course she’ll take, but I think by February, we will know where we’re going.”
Norman said any of the final three candidates the board interviewed would have been excellent and well-qualified, but she thinks Moody is the right choice.
“She has a lot of energy, and I look forward to having her here,” Norman said.
L.A. Overcash also said Moody’s energy stood out among the finalists, and Chuck Hughes said she just seemed like the right fit.
“Out of a lot of candidates, she rose to the top,” Hughes said. “She seemed to really love the area and the school system, and she knew a lot about it.”
On the same day she was hired in Rowan-Salisbury, Moody resigned from her job in Rock Hill.
The Rock Hill Herald reports that Moody told her school board about her departure in a closed meeting Monday afternoon. Her decision was then announced publicly during an open meeting.
According to a biography page on the Rock Hill Schools website, Moody came to the school system in March 2003 as an associate superintendent for planning and program support.
In August 2006, she became the district’s first female superintendent. The native of Ruffin, N.C., has 25 years of experience as a teacher, counselor, coach and administrator in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, the biography says.
Rock Hill Schools has about 2,400 employees and about nearly 18,000 students who attend 27 schools, according to the district’s website. It’s slightly smaller than Rowan-Salisbury, which has nearly 20,000 students at 35 schools.
Moody has led an effort to “provide every student with a mobile technology device,” the biography says. As a result, this fall, nearly 9,000 iPads will be provided to students in grades 4 through 8 and classes in each Rock Hill high school.
She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from N.C. State University and her Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University. She is married to Wayne Moody, and they have two grown sons, Brad and Hunter.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.