WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County School District has a new superintendent. The school board announced today Dr. Tim Markley will take over beginning this upcoming academic year. It took hours of deliberation and ironing out the details, but some school board members say they already knew Markley was the person for the job
"I had no doubt whatsoever," board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh said. "He has all the right stuff. He has the technical expertise, but then he has that intangible quality that I think he's going to bring our community together and lead us all."
The board voted unanimously for Markley, who is currently superintendent in Catawba County. Before that, he was the superintendent of the White Mountain School District in New Hampshire.
"I am excited to get here," Markley told WWAY by phone this afternoon. "I want to talk to parents about student achievement, and I want to talk to parents, teachers about what's happening in our schools, and then I would like to thank the board for this opportunity."
Markley beat out Wake County Interim Superindent Donna Hargens and Rick Holliday, who is currently an assistant superintendent in New Hanover County, was also up for the job. But just because he had nearly 30 years with the county school system, did not mean Holliday was a shoe in. A few years ago, when Al Lerch was selected as superintendent, school board member Nick Rhodes was upset the board did not conduct a national search unlike this time around.
"I don't see that as a negative thing against someone already in the system. We did a nationwide search because we were looking for the best person we could possibly find," Rhodes said. "It wasn't an easy choice, but I think we found that person."
Markley was offered a four-year contract at $200,000 each year. The board will review a possible raise each year.
His current contract with Catawba County requires a 90-day notice, leaving Markley with a start date here of November 1. The hope is that he will be released from those terms to start sooner, but the new superintendent already has plans to use vacation and personal time to visit New Hanover County.