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.
Following 2+ years of leading CHCCS through the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hamlett is pleased that the district's on-time graduation rate increased in 2023 to a new CHCCS record of 94.8%. Additionally, CHCCS achieved a noticeable “bounce-back” from unfinished learning, such as:
- Year-over-year 3rd grade Black reading: Up 11.1 percentage points (to 37.5% from 26.4%)
- Year-over-year 3rd grade Latinx reading: Up 3.9 percentage points (to 41.8% from 37.9%)
- Same cohort: 4th grade Black reading: Up 3.8 percentage points (to 30.2% from 26.4% when the same students were 3rd graders)
Dr. Hamlett also recognizes that there is still much HEARTwork to be done to get students and some student groups to where she knows they can be. The 2027 strategic plan under Dr. Hamlett's leadership calls for CHCCS to 'Think (and Act) Differently'. Dr. Hamlett believes that every student in CHCCS deserves a high-quality, affirming education and the support to develop to their fullest potential. As a result, Dr. Hamlett strives to model the district's core values of engagement, social justice action, collective efficacy, wellness and joy on a daily basis.
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 twelve 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. 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 & 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, NC with their three school-aged children.