Earnest Winston sworn in as Superintendent; CMS announces three executive staff and two principal appointments

Earnest Winston was sworn in as Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools during the Board of Education meeting this evening. Winston formerly served as Chief Engagement Officer, Ombudsman, Chief of Staff and as an educator in CMS schools. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education approved three executive staff and two principal appointments at its Aug. 13 meeting.

Christine Pejot was named chief human resources officer. She has been the director of human resources and educator quality at Pasco County Schools in Florida. since 2013. During her time there, Pejot was also a bureau chief and senior attorney at the Department of Financial Services from 2010 to 2013, a hearing attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit from 2009 to 2010, an attorney, shareholder and president of Pejot Wilson Law from 2004 to 2009, a summer associate at Ford & Harrison LLP in 2003 and a judicial intern for the Sixth Judicial District in 2002. Pejot has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary social sciences from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., and a juris doctorate and certificate of concentration in advocacy from the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla.

Nancy Brightwell was named executive director of the Southwest Learning Community. In 2019, Brightwell was named the interim executive director of the Southwest Learning Community. She has held principal positions at Mallard Creek High from 2011 to 2014, Ranson Middle from 2008 to 2011, Carmel Middle from 2005 to 2008, Beverly Woods Elementary from 2000 to 2005 and Nathaniel Alexander Elementary from 1996 to 2000. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction/educational administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Dr. Brandy Nelson was named executive director of Learning and Teaching Services. She has been the principal at Harper Middle College High since 2016. Nelson was also a principal at Rocky River High from 2012 to 2016. Prior to joining CMS, Nelson was managing director of program at New Leaders from 2010 to 2012 and managing director of program at Teach for America from 2008 to 2010. She was an assistant principal at Needham B. Broughton High in Raleigh from 2003 to 2008, a teacher at Salem Academy in Winston-Salem from 1999 to 2003 and a teacher at Arturo Toscanini Community Junior High in the Bronx, N.Y., from 1997 to 1999. Nelson has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics form Salem College in Winston-Salem, a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Stacey Clark was named principal at Renaissance West STEAM Academy. She has been the assistant principal at Dilworth Elementary – Sedgefield Campus since 2018. Clark was the interim principal at Sedgefield Elementary from 2017 to 2018 and assistant principal at Alexander Graham Middle from 2012 to 2017. She has also held positions as an academic facilitator at Turning Point Academy from 2010 to 2012, a Title I specialist in the Title I office from 2009 to 2010 and an academic facilitator at West Charlotte High from 2007 to 2009. Clark was a teacher at West Charlotte High from 2003 to 2007 and in the Manassas City Schools in Manassas, Va., from 1999 to 2003. She was a vice president of organizational learning and development at Max Service in Virginia from 1996 to 1999 and a vice president of consumer training at Wells Fargo from 1985 to 1996. Clark has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.; a master’s degree in social and organizational learning from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.; and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.

Jennifer Dean was named principal at Mallard Creek High. She has been the principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle since 2012. Dean was a principal at Bailey Middle from 2008 to 2012, assistant principal at Midwood High, Bailey Middle and Pineville Elementary from 2005 to 2008 and assistant principal at W.C. Friday Middle in Gaston County Schools from 2003 to 2005. She was also a teacher at Cochrane Middle (CMS) and Southeast Halifax High in Halifax County Schools from 1999 to 2003. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.