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August 13, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Roberts Named Chancellor of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
CHAPEL HILL, NC – J. Todd Roberts, a Durham native who has served as superintendent of the Ann Arbor (MI) Public Schools since 2006, has been elected chancellor of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics by the Board of Governors of the multi-campus University of North Carolina. UNC President Erskine Bowles placed Roberts’ name in nomination today (August 13) during a regular meeting of the board. Roberts, 46, will assume his new duties no later than December 1, succeeding Gerald Boarman, who stepped down on July 31 to become head of the Bullis School in Potomac, Md. Retired Granville County Schools Superintendent Thomas J. Williams will serve as interim chancellor from August 17 until Roberts’ arrival.
In recommending Roberts to the Board of Governors, Bowles said: “I am thrilled at the opportunity to bring a talented North Carolinian back home to the community where he grew up. Todd Roberts is going to be a phenomenal leader for NCSSM. He brings to the job a deep-rooted love of education and two decades of experience as a high school teacher, principal, and school superintendent. He is a proven leader who promotes creativity, collaboration and strategic thinking. He has also earned a reputation for great integrity, sound judgment, and an unwavering commitment to academic excellence and student success. I am convinced that Todd Roberts brings the right mix of experience, skills, and passion needed to be a truly great chancellor for the School of Science and Mathematics, and I am delighted that he has agreed to join our leadership team.”
Roberts was born at Durham’s former Watts Hospital, then located on the current NCSSM site. After graduating from Duke University in 1986 with a degree in English, he later earned master’s (1994) and doctoral (2002) degrees in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his professional career at Durham’s Southern High School, first as a classroom assistant working with cognitively impaired students (1988-89) and then as a English teacher, yearbook advisor, and coach (1989-94). His transition into academic administration began in 1994, when he was named assistant principal of Brogden Middle School. Two years later, he was named principal of Hillandale Elementary School.
In 1999, Roberts left North Carolina to become principal of Bingham Farms Elementary School in Birmingham, Michigan. Three years later he was promoted to deputy superintendent for educational services of the Birmingham Public Schools, a post he held until being tapped to lead the larger Ann Arbor Public Schools in 2006.
The Ann Arbor school system encompasses 33 urban/suburban schools and serves a diverse student body of 16,400 students (52% Caucasian/48% minorities). Its high schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state and offer a broad range of academic and advanced placement courses. As superintendent, Roberts has been credited with implementing programs and support services that have improved student achievement, narrowed academic achievement gaps, and significantly increased online course offerings for high school students. Under his leadership, the community developed a five-year strategic plan that has provided a road map and set priorities as the district has dealt with severe budget cuts. He also has overseen $240 million of capital expansion and facilities improvements over the past four years.
Named the 2009 Superintendent of the Year in Michigan Region 8, Roberts serves on the governing board of the Minority Student Achievement Network and the dean’s advisory board of the University of Michigan’s School of Education. He also has held volunteer leadership positions with the United Way, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, and the University Musical Society.
Roberts is married to Dr. Arleen Song, a gynecologist with the University of Michigan Health System who grew up in Greenville, NC, and earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill. They have four children: Lucy, 8, Nicholas, 6; Christopher, 4; and Grace, 2.
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Established by the NC General Assembly in 1978 to provide challenging educational opportunities for North Carolina students with special interest and potential in the sciences and mathematics, NCSSM is a public, residential, co-educational high school in Durham for 11th and 12th grade students across the state with high intellectual ability and commitment to scholarship. NCSSM currently serves 670 students on the Durham campus, another 140 student nonresidential juniors and seniors via online instruction, and hundreds more students across the state through its distance education programs. It is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s most elite public high schools.
The University of North Carolina
The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 225,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 12-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.