Meet the Executive Team
Dr. Nyah Hamlett
Nyah Hamlett began as Superintendent for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) on January 1, 2021. Under Dr. Hamlett’s leadership, the district serves approximately 12,000 students and 2,000 employees in 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, an alternative school, and a school for young people being treated at UNC Hospital. Before arriving in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Dr. Hamlett enjoyed a long and successful career in public education in Virginia. She previously served as chief of staff for Loudoun County Public Schools, serving as a key strategic advisor to the superintendent and other cabinet members. In her work with the Superintendent and School Board, Dr. Hamlett supported and coordinated the governance team approach to serving over 84,000 students and 12,000 employees. While there, Dr. Hamlett also played an important role in supervising the director of equity and leading the district’s equity efforts.
Prior to that, Dr. Hamlett spent 12 years with the Henrico County Public Schools at both the school and central office levels, ultimately working for five years as assistant superintendent for instructional support. In this position, she supervised a number of instructional and support programs, including exceptional education (special education and gifted education), family and community engagement, school improvement, professional learning, mental wellness and social-emotional learning. Under Dr. Hamlett’s leadership, HCPS won first place in the National School Boards Association’s 2017 Magna Awards for the district’s overhaul of the code of student conduct and its development of preventative behavioral support programs. Dr. Hamlett began her career as a special education teacher in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
Dr. Hamlett received her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology with a minor in special education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She went on to earn two master’s degrees in K-12 reading and educational leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, and a doctorate in educational policy, planning, and leadership from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Dr. Hamlett also earned an urban superintendent certification from the AASA Howard University Urban Superintendents’ Academy.
Dr. Hamlett is a champion of high-quality, equitable and affirming learning experiences, Relational Leadership, Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy, School-Based Mental Health, Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline, Gifted Identification of Underrepresented Student Populations, and more.
She is a proponent of asking students what problems they want to solve versus what they want to “be” when they grow up … Deep Learning
She also believes in asking students what happened to them versus what’s wrong with them … Restorative Practices
Dr. Hamlett and her husband live in Chapel Hill with their three school-aged children.
Chief of Staff & School Leadership
School Leadership Divison
Brandy Reeves was named Chief of Staff & School Leadership for CHCCS in May 2021. Prior to that, she had served as senior director of alumni programming for New Leaders in New York, NY. Reeves has served as a principal, an assistant principal, a reading teacher and an English teacher in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia, as well as in Greensboro, NC. Reeves holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She also a certificate in Urban School Leadership/Administration from National Lewis University in Chicago; attended Executive Level Leadership at Northwestern University; and was part of Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education's Education Policy Fellowship Program.
Chief Academic Officer
Instructional Services Divison
Alisa C. Zapata joined the district in September 2021 as the Chief Academic Officer. Prior to that, Zapata served as both an assistant superintendent of schools and chief academic officer for the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas for the past seven and a half years. Zapata also served as the director of high schools in Des Moines, Iowa for a year before moving to El Paso. Previous to moving to Iowa, Zapata served as a principal, assistant principal, and math teacher in Houston, Texas. Zapata holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston; and will graduate with her doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas A&M Commerce in December 2021.
André Stewart was named the interim Chief Operations Officer in September 2021. Stewart brings over 20 years of experience in public education in the state of North Carolina. He started as a lateral entry high school social studies teacher and coach. Over time, Stewart held the positions of athletic director, assistant principal and was a two time district principal of the year as well as a chief opperations officer. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Chowan College, his teaching licensure through NC Wesleyan and a master's degree in school administration from the University of Phoenix.
Chief Equity & Engagement Officer
Equity & Engagement Division
Dr. Rodney Trice returned to the district in July 2021 as its Chief Equity & Engagement Officer. Trice returns to CHCCS after working in Wake County Public Schools for seven years as its assistant superintendent of equty affairs. Before leaving the district, Trice served as the executive director of curricurriculum, instruction and technology and then later as associate superintendent for student and social services and equity oversight. He previously served in CHCCS for eight years. Trice has also worked as a policy advisor for NC Department of Public Instruction, an associate principal in Orange County Schools and a director and teacher in Detroit. Trice holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Detroit at Mercy, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chief of School Support & Wellness
School Support & Wellness Division
Dr. Charlos Banks joined the district in 2018 as the Senior Executive Director of Student Services. She has been a North Carolina educator for 23 years, starting as a secondary classroom teacher and secondary school counselor before becoming a high school assistant principal in 2006 in High Point. Banks has also served as a high school principal for the GTCC Middle College and executive director of student services in Guilford County Schools. Most recently, she was the interim assistant superintendent of student support services in Guilford County Schools for two years. Banks holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also holds master's degrees in School Counseling from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Banks earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from High Point University.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Human Resources Division
Erika Murphy Newkirk is the Senior Executive Director of Human Resources for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. With over twenty years of experience in North Carolina’s public schools, Erika is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow that has taught Kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades in Pender County Schools, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and Durham Public Schools. She has also held numerous leadership roles in the aforementioned school districts. She has served as an adjunct instructor at Winston-Salem State University to pre-service teachers and at North Carolina Central University to teachers seeking add-on licensure in gifted education. Additionally, she studied Spanish and taught Calculus to high school seniors abroad in Monterrey, Mexico at Prepa Tec de Santa Catarina. Erika is a National Board Certified Teacher and served as a DREAM Team consultant for NBPTS for four years. As an educator, she was selected to Governor Bev Perdue’s Education Advisory Council. Erika received a degree in Elementary Education from North Carolina Central University, and she received her master's degree in Elementary Education from Winston Salem State University both on a full scholarship. She received an add-on license in Academically and Intellectually Gifted Education (K-12) from North Carolina Central University. She earned a full scholarship and began work on a master’s degree in school administration at North Carolina State University in 2018. Prior to joining Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Erika served as a Regional Education Facilitator at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She was responsible for working with school districts, charter schools, and colleges/universities in the north central region of North Carolina. Erika is a member of Phi Delta Kappa International and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Erika was named a Kenan Fellow and an Education Policy Fellowship Program Fellow. She was also recognized by her alma mater in 2014, as a top 40 alumnus under 40.
Chief Communications Officer
Community Relations Office
Andy Jenks joined CHCCS in September of 2021.
As Chief Communications Officer, Andy collaborates across all departments to ensure public understanding and support of the mission, vision and goals of the district. Andy also serves as the official spokesperson for CHCCS, while leading a variety of responsibilities that include news media relations, internal and external communications, public records requests, social media, video production and community relations activities/events.
Before joining CHCCS, Andy served as Chief of Communications and Community Engagement for Henrico County Public Schools in Virginia, a school system of 50,000 students and 72 schools located in the metro-Richmond region. Prior to that, he was a television news anchor and reporter at stations in Richmond, Utica, NY, and Syracuse, NY. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications.
Andy and his wife are the parents of three children, who are expected to be part of the graduating classes of 2028, 2029 and 2031.
Chief Financial Officer
Business & Financial Services Division
Jonathan Scott joined CHCCS as the district’s Chief Accountant in January 2005 and has also served in the position of director of accounting as well as the director of financial and business services. Prior to his tenure at CHCCS, Scott served two years as the assistant finance officer with Moore County Schools. Before beginning his work in public education Scott worked for a large regional Certified Public Accounting firm auditing NC school districts, NC charter schools, and local community banks. Scott earned both his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his Master of Science in Accountancy at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.