GCS Appoints New Chief Academic Officer

Guilford County Schools (GCS) will have a new Chief Academic Officer in late July. The board unanimously appointed Dr. Nakia Hardy to the position at its meeting Tuesday night.

In her new role, Hardy will oversee the district’s four regional offices and the divisions of Curriculum and Instruction, Exceptional Children and Student Services, and provide leadership for the improvement of student achievement in grades pre-K through 12.

“I am committed to providing personalized, rigorous instruction to every single student in Guilford County Schools,” says Hardy. “That is my passion. I look forward to working with the staff and regional superintendents who are already doing great things in that area and taking it to the next level.”

Dr. Hardy currently serves as Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for Baltimore City Public Schools in Baltimore, Md. In that position, she is responsible for coordinating programs and initiatives for all content areas in pre-K through high schools, serving more than 84,000 students.

Prior to her work in Baltimore, Hardy proved herself as an educator and leader in North Carolina. She started her career as a chemistry teacher for GCS at Page High in 1998 where she received the Guilford County Excellence in Science Teaching Award. From there, Dr. Hardy served as a middle school principal and high school assistant principal with the Alamance Burlington Schools. While principal, Hardy was named the Alamance Burlington Principal of the Year and the Central/Piedmont Regional Principal of the Year.

Her latest position in North Carolina was as the Assistant Superintendent of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction for Rockingham County Schools. There she provided instructional leadership focused on improving student achievement. During her tenure, the district’s graduation rate increased from 72.9 percent to 76 percent.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Hardy to our team,” says GCS Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green. “I look forward to her leadership and insight as GCS continues to reach new heights in our quest for excellence.”

Hardy will replace Dr. Beth Folger, who is taking on new challenges in Onslow County Schools.

Debra Barham will serve in an interim leadership role for Academic Services until Dr. Hardy’s arrival. Barham retired from GCS in 2008 after serving as an instructional improvement officer, principal, assistant principal and teacher.