When Ann Arbor Public Schools superintendent Todd Roberts made public his resignation on Friday, one person who was not surprised was AAPS school board president Deb Mexicotte. She had been contacted three weeks ago to be a reference for Roberts as he moved through the hiring process to become the newest chancellor of the North Carolina School for Science and Math (NCSSM).
He got the job offer on Tuesday, Mexicotte said in a phone interview with The Chronicle, and then spoke to each board trustee individually throughout Wednesday and Thursday, most of them in person, to share his decision and reasons for leaving. Tuesday was also the filing deadline for candidates to run for school board. Only incumbents – including Mexicotte – filed for re-election, so the seats will be uncontested.
Joni Worthington, vice president for communications for the University of North Carolina, confirmed that Roberts was originally tapped for the position by the NCSSM’s chancellor search committee, which hired a consulting firm to aid them in the process. Once making it through the rounds of school-level interviews in May and June, Worthington said, Roberts was interviewed directly by the president of UNC, Erskine Bowles, who then recommended Roberts to the UNC board of governors at their regular meeting yesterday.
Located in Roberts’ hometown of Durham, NCSSM is a public boarding school for 11th and 12th grade students gifted in math or science, and is ultimately governed by UNC, as one of its 17 campuses. Roberts will be the school’s fourth chancellor since its founding in 1980, and is succeeding Gerald Boarman, who resigned at the end of July. An interim chancellor, Thomas J. Williams, will serve NCSSM until Roberts arrives, no later than Dec. 1.