State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Monday the appointments of LaTeesa Allen as new superintendent of the Innovative School District (ISD) and Christie Lynch Ebert as the new director for DPI’s Standards, Curriculum and Instruction division. Both positions will report to Eric Hall, who was recently named deputy state superintendent of innovation.
“Both LaTeesa and Christie bring a wealth of relevant expertise and experience to DPI’s leadership team,” said Johnson. “LaTeesa’s experience working with education systems and partners in other states will offer valuable perspectives in how we approach accelerating student growth and achievement in low-performing schools. Just as important is Christie’s 18-plus years of experience working for DPI and her success collaborating with strategic partners in the areas of educational standards, policy development, implementation, and school support. I look forward to working with them to help address the needs of all students,” he added.
Allen, who began her duties Monday, will replace Eric Hall, ISD’s founding superintendent. Before coming to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), she worked as the chief program officer at Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC), a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing evidence-based integrated student supports to over 300 schools in the state. As a member of the senior leadership team, she oversaw the development, strategic planning, service delivery and management of a portfolio of statewide programs focused on student achievement, college and career readiness, and juvenile justice.
Allen also collaborated with local school district leaders, community partners, business leaders, and national student-focused organizations to improve student outcomes for the state’s most vulnerable students. Prior to her role at CISNC, Allen was regional director of educational services at AMIkids, Inc. where she led efforts to improve student performance at AMIkids schools across eight states.
Pam Hartley, president and CEO of CISNC stated, we are “… delighted that DPI has tapped our colleague LaTeesa Allen to lead the Innovative School District. LaTeesa is a champion for children and a talented leader who recognizes the importance of bringing communities and schools together for the benefit of our students. Communities In Schools shares the State of North Carolina’s commitment to accelerating student achievement. We look forward to continuing our work in partnership with the Department of Public Instruction and with schools and communities across the state.”
Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Florida State University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida with an intentional focus on the sustainability of successful school turnaround practices.
Allen begins her new position on September 17.
Christie Lynch Ebert has been with DPI in various capacities for over 18 years. Most recently, she was Section Chief for DPI’s K-12 program areas within the Division of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction. Program areas included Arts Education (dance, music, theatre, visual arts), English as a Second Language and the Federal Title III, Part A English Language Acquisition grant, Comprehensive School Counseling, and World Languages. Ebert provided expertise and leadership at the local, state, and national levels on content-specific and cross-collaborative initiatives, projects, and programs.
Ebert’s depth of experience includes working closely with the state superintendent and State Board of Education in developing, reviewing, and implementing state educational standards and defining processes and measures in areas related to licensure, global education, accountability and school counseling. She also provided leadership and expertise in the implementation of various federal and state initiatives, including the Every Student Succeeds Act and Whole Child NC, which is dedicated to ensuring all students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and receive a well-rounded education to support their success.
Prior to her tenure at DPI, Ebert spent seven years working for the Wake County Public School System. In addition to teaching music, dance and drama, she was a member of the central office instructional assistance team, which collaborated with and supported schools to help maximize student growth and achievement.
Ebert holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Meredith College and a master’s degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She completed the NC Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2012-13, a leadership development program focused on public policy in education.
Ebert’s appointment became effective Sept. 12.