Dr. Robert P. Grimesey, Jr. will join Moore County Schools [MCS] as Superintendent on July 1. The Board of Education appointed Grimesey by unanimous acclamation during their Monday, May 12 meeting.
School Board Chair Kathy Farren said board members are "confident that he will lead Moore County Schools to an even higher level of achievement."
Grimesey's brief acceptance speech made it clear he had done his homework on MCS. He praised the digital learning initiative, the new master facilities plan, and the Growing to Greatness strategic plan that the board would approve later in the meeting, as well as noting the progress the district had made in improving student achievement.
Grimesey also noted the "economic and political challenges" the district faces, and the lack of significant salary increases for North Carolina teachers in the past six years.
"It may be reasonable for many of them to feel that their personal interests have been abandoned," he said.
Grimesey said he had "built something of a reputation" for helping school districts through troubled times.
From the Old Dominion to the Old North State
With thirty years experience as an educator in school districts across Virginia, Grimesey is currently Superintendent of Orange County Schools, a district northwest of Charlottesville, VA that serves more than 5,000 students. MCS has approximately 13,000 students.
Prior to his appointment to the superintendent's post in Orange County, he led the schools in Allegheny County, VA for eight years. Grimesey has taught social studies and coached football and wrestling at the high school level, served as principal and assistant principal, and even worked as a newspaper reporter and sportswriter.
A graduate of James Madison University, he received his doctorate from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education.
Grimesey has been honored by his peers for his work as Superintendent on a number of occasions, receiving the 2012 Outstanding Superintendent Award from the Curry School of Education and the 2013 Directors Award from the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.
Speaking to the large group of MCS personnel who attended the school board meeting, Grimesey introduced his wife Carol, and explained that he has three children: a son in the US Air Force, a daughter teaching English at the American College of Sophia, Bulgaria, and a daughter attending Virginia Commonwealth University. He said he became aware of Moore County when his son was stationed at Fort Bragg.
Grimesey will start at a salary of $165,000 plus benefits, comparable compensation to his predecessor, current Superintendent Aaron Spence, who is departing for a position in the Virginia Beach City Schools.
Proving himself a good sport, after his more formal remarks, Grimesey donned in succession jerseys from each of Moore County's three high schools and posed for photographs with staff members from those schools.
In other business during their Monday, May 12 meeting, the Board of Education:
• Approved a $110 million Master Facilities plan that Superintendent Spence said includes ten school construction and renovation projects that will stretch over the next ten years.
• Approved Growing to Greatness 2.0, an substantial update of the strategic plan that will guide the district over the next three years.
• Reappointed George Little as one of the board's representatives on the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees.
• Received a quarterly financial update from Chief Financial Officer Mike Griffin and learned that Griffin will become MCS's Director of Budget. Tina Edmonds will move up into the position of Chief Financial Officer.
• Celebrated the leadership of West Pine Middle School principal Candace Turk, who is retiring at the end of this school year.
• Honored twenty-five members of the MCS staff who attained Masters Degrees this year, as well as two who obtained their doctorates.