Meet the Executive Team
Jim Causby, Interim Superintendent
email@example.com 919-967-8211 x28226
Dr. Jim Causby was selected as the interim superintendent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) by the Board of Education. The Board welcomes Dr. Causby back into this role, in which he previously served from August 2016 through March 2017. He will take office on July 1, 2020, and will serve until a new permanent superintendent is elected by the Board.
Dr. Causby, a McDowell County native, has had a long and accomplished career in North Carolina’s public education system. He spent a total of 26 years as superintendent of Swain County Schools, Polk County Schools, and Johnston County Public Schools, and was named North Carolina Superintendent of the Year three times. He has also served as interim superintendent for Hickory City Schools, Madison County Schools, and Johnston County Public Schools, as well as CHCCS. Dr. Causby began his career as a teacher and coach before serving as an assistant principal, principal, and ultimately superintendent. In addition, Dr. Causby also served as executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators and the North Carolina School Superintendents Association. Included on his long list of accolades is induction into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – North Carolina’s highest civilian honor.
Dr. Causby completed his undergraduate degree and master’s degree in elementary education at Western Carolina University. He received his education specialist degree from Appalachian State University, and his doctorate in education administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services Division
Jessica O'Donovan, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services
Jessica O’Donovan was named the Assistant Superintendent in May 2018. She began her career in Japan teaching English at the secondary level. When she returned to the U.S., she served as a K-12 English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and athletic coach in Massachusetts and New York and then became a staff developer for the New York State Department of Education. Her administrative experience includes serving as a department chair, director of after-school programs, director of ESL/Bilingual programs, and director of curriculum. Prior to joining CHCCS, Jessica served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in White Plains, NY. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Boston University. She also holds a master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle.
Assistant Superintendent, Support Services
Patrick Abele joined CHCCS as the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services in January 2019. Abele previously served four years in the role of Chief Operations Officer with Orange County Schools. He has 22 years of experience and served the title of Executive Director with both Iredell-Statesville Schools and Beaufort County Schools prior to working in Orange County Schools. Abele has experience at both the school and district level as a classroom teacher, principal, instructional technology coordinator and director. Prior to beginning his work as an educator, Abele served as a paratrooper with the United States Army, 82nd Signal Battalion, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Abele earned both his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and his Master of School Administration at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Senior Executive Director, Student Services
Charlos Banks, Senior Executive Director, Student Services
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.
Senior Executive Director, Human Resources
Erika Newkirk, Senior Executive Director, Human Resources
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.
Senior Executive Director for Leadership and Strategy
Misti Williams, Senior Executive Director for Leadership and Strategy
Dr. Misti Williams was named Senior Executive Director for Leadership and Strategy for CHCCS in April 2018. Prior to that, she had served as the district's executive director for leadership and federal programs since 2016. Williams has been a North Carolina educator for almost 25 years. During her career, she has served as a high school teacher, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, curriculum director and executive director for administration. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in English, a master's degree in School Administration, a specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a doctorate in Educational Leadership, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she was also a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. Her husband, Jon is a high school principal and they have three children, Will, Molly, and Kate.
Public Information Officer
Jeff Nash, Public Information Officer
Jeff Nash is no stranger to the Triangle. After nearly 19 years with the Wake County Public School System and two more years with Durham Public Schools, Nash joined the CHCCS team in October of 2012. His experience includes service as a teacher, coach, department chair, school administrator and central office administrator. He is also known locally for his role in hosting educational television shows “The School Connection” and “Full Circle.” He is the Past-President of the North Carolina School Public Relations Association and also served as Southeast Regional Vice President of the National School Public Relations Association. A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Nash earned his Bachelor of Science from Buffalo State College and his Master of Education from North Carolina State University. His book “Rock ‘n Roll Customer Service” was published in 2009.
Executive Director, Equity and Inclusion
Lee Williams, Executive Director, Equity and Inclusion
Lee A. Williams, II joined CHCCS at the start of the 2018-19 school year as its Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from Clemson University and a master's in Education degree from Grand Canyon University. Williams has spent more than 15 years in education, starting as a high school English and Forensics teacher and an academic coach and STEM recruiterbefore becoming an assistant principal and principal. Throughout his time in education, Williams' focus has always been enhancing the public educational systems in order to truly serve all students, with a concentration on closing the opportunity gap for students of color. To this end, during his time as Principal at Graham Middle School in Alamance-Burlington School System, Williams initiated programs for students, including Kings and Queens in Pearls, which promotes and empowers students of color, and a PRIDE alliance for the LGBTQ community. Williams has always fostered an environment that recognizes and hears student voices while encouraging teachers and staff to be truly innovative. He believes in a fully blended learning philosophy which includes resources for teachers, families and students. Williams is a native of Fayetteville, NC and a product of Cumberland County Schools. He is the father of three amazing, brilliant, zealous, energetic and beautiful children. His awesome wife, Jamisa Williams, is a principal in Guilford County Schools.