Earnest Winston named as new CMS superintendent

Photo: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education announced on Friday that they've voted unanimously to name Earnest Winston as Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The decision was made at a special meeting held on Friday, Aug. 2. Winston is contracted for three years with an annual compensation of $280,000.

The new change comes after former CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox resigned without any compensation as he was about halfway through his four-year contract with the district.

The decision to remove Wilcox was made during a 9-0 vote during a special meeting in July. 

"Anything pertaining to personnel we are not at liberty to discuss, so we want to make sure we adhere to that and are following our process when it comes to any employee," Board Chair Mary McCray had said back in July. She did not respond to FOX 46's calls. 

RELATED: CMS board: Superintendent Wilcox to resign

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, Winston has been the district’s chief community relations and engagement officer since 2017. He is a former journalist who joined CMS in 2004 as an English teacher at Vance High School, where he taught journalism and was an advisor to the school newspaper.

Winston joined the district’s communications department two years later and has served in a number of CMS executive leadership roles, including chief of staff from 2011-2017. He and his wife, Denise, have two children enrolled in CMS.

“I am humbled and grateful to the Board and the community for the trust placed in me. It is my honor and privilege to serve our community’s students, families, CMS employees and partners,” Winston said. “The district team is preparing to welcome students back for a smooth opening of schools on Aug. 26. We are moving forward together on our commitment to equity through our 2024 strategic plan. Our shared focus is on what matters most – great teaching and learning for every student in every school.”