HALIFAX — There was considerable nervousness at Central Office for the Halifax County School District Monday. People waited impatiently for board members to come out of closed session and into an open meeting. The recommendation for the superintendent’s post was on the agenda and while most were hopeful they had an idea of who it might be, few knew for certain.
When Board chair Debbie Hardy made the announcement Interim Superintendent Elease Frederick accepted a contract and she was recommending her for the position, the room exploded into applause. Hardy had to wait for the room to die down before the board voted its unanimous support to make Frederick the new school chief.
“I’m so proud,” Hardy said. “Ms. Frederick has been faithful a long time.” She mentioned this recommendation was supported by the Department of Public Instruction and they had been instrumental in making the decision.
In an earlier interview with Dr. Pat Ashley with the Department of Public Instruction, she would not divulge a name, but did say, “I’m very pleased with the choice the school system made. It’s not that we didn’t have good choices. There were a lot of good choices. But this was the best choice.”
Hardy gave the floor to Frederick, who was excited and positive in her appointment. “I’ve stood up here so many times,” she said. “It’s different this time. It’s a very good different!”
Frederick thanked everyone for their support then reminded everyone it was time to work together to attain the goals the district is striving to meet. “Working together really works,” she said.
She continued by saying this was a dream come true for her, she will continue to work to erase the barriers which prevent students from accomplishing their goals. “We must do this and we must do this now,” she said.
She expressed her concern about attendance. She encouraged the staff and teachers to come to work. “You need to come to work,” she said. “You don’t have to work my hours, but you must work yours … You know what I’m talking about!”
She reiterated working together really works and said this would be the schools belief and motto. “Are you still with me?”
Again the room exploded in applause. People rose to their feet in support. Frederick’s first official act as superintendent was to give stickers to the Student of the Month Northwest High School senior Antonio Alston, his mother and principal. She joked the board had given her a hard time at the last meeting because they ran out. “I have plenty of them this time,” she said. She laughed and held up the roll, then she shook Alston’s hand. Frederick expressed her pride in his accomplishment and encouraged him to continue.
Dr. Elease Frederick is a 40-year employee of the Halifax County School System. A Halifax County native, she is a graduate of Inborden High School, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Winston-Salem State University and master’s in Intermediate Education from N.C. Central, an eds. degree from East Carolina and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from NOVA University.
Frederick has served in numerous leadership positions in Halifax County, including associate superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal and lead teacher. She has been a district support coach, teaching specialist and elementary school teacher. Most recently she served as interim superintendent after the resignation of Geraldine Middleton.