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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools announces plans to find new superintendent

Superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston is headed to Danville to take over the same role at Danville Public Schools.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools said in a press conference Friday a national search is underway for a new superintendent. 

Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston is headed to Danville to take over the same role at Danville Public Schools.

"Dr. Angela Hairston, the first African American to lead our district, tendered her resignation to the board," Board of Education Chair Shai Woodbury said.

Woodbury said the board isn’t going to rush the process. They want the best, most qualified candidate.

RELATED: Danville Public Schools announce Dr. Angela Hairston as new superintendent

"Our board has already started discussions about a potential interim superintendent. Once the interim is in place, we will start the focus on finding the next leader for our district."

Dr. Hairston said she struggled with the decision to leave, but she has roots in Danville and couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"Actually the community I’m leaving for is my hometown and they’ve been without a superintendent for some time now," she said. "I began my teaching career there and I was the first African American principal there."

WFMY News 2's Jess Winters asked Dr. Hairston if she felt as though she was leaving the district hanging in the middle of a pandemic. She said she believes it is in good hands.

"A good leader builds a great team and we have a great team," Hairston stated. "I'm a good delegator and I can tell you the work will continue in a very, very good way."

Even parents who didn’t see eye to eye with the Superintendent throughout the pandemic wish her the best.

"Me and Ms. Hairston, we had our battles," Amanda Yokeley said. "I wrote her an email last night and I told her I was sorry for sort of singling her out in the beginning. I'm happy for her."

But the timing of it all is worrisome to parents, because reopening decisions are being made every day. 

RELATED: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education calls for emergency meeting following superintendent’s resignation

"I'm hopeful {the next superintendent} is somebody who will help us get to in-person learning," Yokeley said.

Dr. Hairston led the district for a little more than a year. Her last day is tentatively November 13, and she is scheduled to begin her Danville position in December.

She promised she’d help the board with the transition.

"I am certain and confident that the Board of Education will select a great interim that will continue the work."

The district said a change in leadership doesn’t change the phased reopening plan.

RELATED: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ COVID-19 committee will review reentry plans before each phase of reopening

When asked if she had done all she set out to do as the leader of the district, Dr. Hairston said no, the work is never done.

"After 30 years I've never accomplished all I've wanted to accomplish. No, education is ongoing and evolving and after all these years my ultimate goal in life is to see every child I serve graduate from high school."