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Former Wake superintendent named interim leader for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools

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NASHVILLE — Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools named longtime educator and administrator Del Burns to fill the roll of interim superintendent while the school system searches for its next permanent administrator to fill the role.

Burns spent 37 years in the Wake County Public School System, including four as superintendent from 2006-10, and again last year as the system's interim leader after Jim Merrill retired.

Burns has also served as an interim superintendent for Alamance-Burlington Schools as well as school systems in Bertie, Orange and Edgecombe counties. Burns served as director and education consultant with GMK Associations Education Services Division. He currently operates Burns Alliance, Inc. a consulting company that provides services to large and small public school districts in both rural and urban areas across several states.

Burns earned his Master of Education in special education from North Carolina State University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

"I am very excited to be a part of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools," Burns told the board after he was appointed. "There are some challenges and opportunities in the district and I look forward to working with you."

"We wanted someone who cared about this area and our children and Del fit the bill," said school board Chairman Franklin Lamm. "We are very fortunate to have him and I am looking forward to working with him."

Burns takes over in a somewhat tumultuous time for Nash-Rocky Mount Schools. He steps in to fill the role left by Shelton Jefferies, who resigned earlier this month following a year that saw a huge budget shortfall as well the threat from his administration to cut teacher pay stipends to cover the shortfall that many residents and county leaders say were a result of the his poor financial management.

Also departing is Patricia Hollingsworth, who served as the district's chief communications officer. Hollingsworth is leaving to accept a similar role at Durham Public Schools. Her last day is Sept. 9.

Burns was sworn in Tuesday evening but officially starts as interim superintendent on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

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