Local residents will have their first chance to meet the new Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools superintendent Thursday night.

Dr. Pamela Baldwin started a new job on April 1 leading the school district.

“I’m passionate about students; that’s my number one priority,” Baldwin said in a recent interview with WCHL. “I’m a mom first, and so I understand that it’s important that we treat all of our students that way.”

Baldwin was hired to replace Dr. Tom Forcella, who retired over the summer of 2016. Dr. Jim Causby led the district on an interim basis before Baldwin’s hire.

The Chapel Hill – Carrboro Board of Education emphasized equity when searching for a new superintendent. Baldwin said that’s an area where she has focused throughout her career.

“I’ve been working in the world of equity before equity was the buzzword that a lot of educators use,” Baldwin said, “because it’s just the right thing to do.”

Baldwin has worked as a math and science teacher at the high-school level before serving as an assistant principal and moving on to the administrative level. She was most recently the superintendent of Asheville City Schools.

“My mentors reached out to me,” she said about being approached regarding the opening in CHCCS. “I love to work in districts where there’s a lot of community involvement.”

The first opportunity for the face-to-face community involvement with the new superintendent is Thursday night at Carrboro High School. The Meet and Greet is scheduled to begin at 6:30 Thursday evening and is hosted by the PTA Council.

“My first steps will be to listen – to listen and watch – and find out if there are gaps where they are, and then work with our staff, especially our teachers, to address those gaps,” Baldwin said. “Also, to find those really shiny spots, those areas in which we’re doing very well with all students, and then replicate that in other areas.”

Baldwin added it will be important to bring in the student voice to moving the district forward.

There will also be Meet and Greet events on Tuesday, April 18, at First Baptist Church, Wednesday, April 19, at Phoenix Academy and May 8 at Frank Porter Graham Elementary. The May 8 event will be held in Spanish.

Photo via CHCCS