Management Team

The CMS management team is comprised of executive staff, learning community superintendents and other CMS leaders. To contact a member of the management team, click on the appropriate contact link and complete the form, including your name, address, phone number, email address, e​​tc.

Earnest Winston
Earnest Winston

Earnest Winston was named superintendent for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools August 2, 2019. He brings the experiences of a teacher, a parent, a communicator and a chief of staff to the role.
Winston joined Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 2004 as an English teacher at Vance High School, where he also taught journalism and served as adviser to the school’s student newspaper. After two years in the classroom, he moved into administration, joining the district’s communications department as an external communications supervisor. In 2008, he became executive coordinator/communications liaison for then-Chief Operating Officer Hugh E. Hattabaugh, who became interim superintendent in July 2011. Winston served as chief of staff to the two superintendents who followed Hattabaugh. In 2017, he was named chief community relations and engagement officer.
Winston began his career as a reporter for the Mansfield News Journal in Ohio, later moving to the Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer where he covered local government in the city and nearby towns, as well as education in Northern Kentucky. He left Cincinnati to join the Charlotte Observer, where he covered government, development, general news – and wrote about his cousin Jennifer Hudson’s rise to fame on “American Idol.”
Winston currently serves on the board of Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where he is chairperson of the Program Evaluation Committee. Previously, he served on the Freedom School Advisory Board at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, where he is a member. He has also served on the boards of Charlotte Works Youth Council, Stratford Richardson YMCA, Children’s Scholarship Fund and the Ohio Wesleyan University Alumni Board of Directors. Winston is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Charlotte and a 2016 graduate of the Leadership Development Initiative (Community Building Initiative). Winston has been recognized as an Atrium Health Martin Luther King Jr. Growing the Dream Award recipient (2019) and a YBM Leadership Alliance Success Leader (2016). He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s Beta Nu Lambda Chapter.
A native of Chicago, Winston holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University. He is married with two daughters who are CMS students.

Cabinet Members

Dr. Frank D. Barnes

Chief Equity Officer

Akeshia Craven-Howell

Associate Superintendent
Student Assignment and School Choice

Kathy Elling

Chief School Performance Officer

Northwest learning community superintendent

Dr. Matthew Hayes

Deputy Superintendent of Academics

LaTarzja Henry  

LaTarzja Henry

Chief of Staff


Brian Kingsley

Chief Academic Officer

Christine Pejot  

Christine Pejot

Chief Human Resources Officer


Derek Root

Chief Technology Officer




Chief Communications Officer

Sheila W. Shirley

Chief Financial Officer

Carol Stamper

Deputy Superintendent of Operations


George Battle, III

General Counsel


Executive Staff and Learning Community Superintendents


Dr. Raymond Barnes

Central 1 Learning Community Superintendent

Angie Bartles

Executive Director of Strategy Management


Michael Chilcutt

Assistant Superintendent of Fine Arts Education

Acquanetta S. Edmond

Acquanetta Edmond

Northwest Learning Community Superintendent

Dr. Stephen Esposito

Southwest Learning Community Superintendent

Laura Francisco

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Support Services

Sonja Gantt

Executive Director of CMS Public Schools Foundation

Lisa Mangum

Chief of CMS Police

Renee McCoy

Executive Director of Communications

Avery Mitchell

Associate Superintendent of Middle Schools


Dr. Cotrane Penn

Executive Director of Student Services


Kelly Price

Executive Director of Federal Programs

Dr. Kondra Rattley

Associate Superintendent of High Schools

Trish Sexton

Associate Superintendent of Elementary Schools


Dr. Ann White

Associate Superintendent of Exceptional Children

Tara Lynn Sullivan

Central 2 Learning Community Superintendent

Charlotte Nadja Trez

Executive Director of Learning and Language Acquisition


John Wall

Northeast Learning Community Superintendent

Tangela Williams

Dr. Tangela Williams

Southeast Learning Community Superintendent