New superintendent named for New Hanover County Schools

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County has announced who will take over as the new head of the school district.

In a special meeting, the Board of Education met to approve the contract for Dr. Charles Foust as the new superintendent.

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His first day on the job is September 1 with an annual salary of $225,000. His contract is through June 30, 2024.

Dr. Charles Foust announced as superintendent on NHCS on July 31, 2020. (Photo: WWAY)

“The members of the New Hanover County Board of Education unanimously and enthusiastically support Dr. Foust’s selection as our new superintendent,” Board Chair Lisa Estep says. “We are certain that Dr. Foust’s energy, aggressive goal-setting, and experience with school turnaround will lead our high-achieving school system to even higher achievement.  His demonstrated commitment to equity, communication, and transparency made his selection a strong choice for our schools and our community right now.”

The school system says Foust was chosen out of 39 candidates.



Foust has had a career in public education spanning more than 23 years in North Carolina, Texas, and Kansas. Since 2018, he has served as the superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.

Foust also served as the chief school performance officer for Union County Public Schools in Monroe, NC. and as an assistant superintendent, school support officer, and principal for the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas.  He also previously served as a principal, assistant principal, and curriculum facilitator for the Guilford County Schools in Greensboro. Foust began his career in public education as a fourth-grade teacher in Guilford County.

Foust received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. He went on to earn a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a doctorate in professional leadership from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

Foust has been married and has two daughters.

“Thank you to the New Hanover County Board of Education in this new partnership,” Foust said. “What an honor to be entrusted as the next district leader of New Hanover County Schools.  I sincerely believe all students have the ability to learn; our job is to create and offer a first-class education in a safe and inviting setting.  My charge is to assist all employees in the development of our school district so that we move from a good district to a world-class educational facility.  I’m thrilled to be at the helm at this critical moment for our school district, which I believe has the potential to be an exemplar of educational excellence and social impact.”

Dr. Del Burns has been the interim superintendent since taking over the reins in March from Tim Markley, who resigned in the midst of the controversy surrounding the district’s dealing with sexual misconduct claims.

The BOE voted Tuesday night to switch up the plans for reopening this fall. After more than four hours of debate, the board voted 6-1 to switch to Plan C, a fully remote learning plan.