Category Archives: School News

Union County Board of Education names Superintendent

Monroe, NC—The Union County Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection and appointment of Dr. Andrew Houlihan as the next Superintendent of Union County Public Schools. Dr. Houlihan was named at a special-called meeting July 26. His first official day will be Wednesday, Aug. 24.

“Union County Public Schools has had a long history and tradition of academic excellence and organizational success,” Houlihan said. “I am deeply honored to serve as the next Superintendent of Schools and will strive to continue such success for many years to come. Thank you to the members of the Board of Education for this opportunity to serve.  Our family is looking forward to joining the Union County community in the very near future.”

The Board of Education began its search process in March and invited UCPS employees and the public to participate in a survey to provide feedback on characteristics for a new leader of Union County Public Schools.

The board carefully reviewed applications and supporting documentation from a diverse field of 30 excellent candidates.  Although many qualified candidates applied, the board felt that Dr. Houlihan’s leadership, experience and dedication to students would best serve the UCPS students, staff and community for years to come.  The board is confident that Dr. Houlihan will lead the district to even higher achievement.

“The Board of Education is very excited about the appointment of Dr. Houlihan as Superintendent of UCPS,” said Leslie Boyd, chair. He has the leadership skills, passion and energy to take our school district to the next level. “He will bring a Team Union attitude to our schools and community.”

Dr. Houlihan began his career in public education as an elementary school teacher in Wake County. He has enjoyed a successful career in public education spanning over 15 years in North Carolina, New York, and most recently, Texas. Dr. Houlihan currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer for the Houston Independent School District (HISD), where he has held several cabinet-level positions since 2013, including Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief School Support Officer and Chief School Officer for Major Projects.

As a key member of the superintendent’s administrative team, Dr. Houlihan has focused on increasing student performance and organizational effectiveness. He was responsible for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating the school system’s curriculum and professional development, school and leadership development, teacher and administrator recruitment and school improvement efforts.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Houlihan served as an elementary school principal (2010-2012) and School Support Officer (2012-2013) for HISD and held other administrative positions in the Austin Independent School District (2007-2010).

Dr. Houlihan has an impressive academic background. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Elon University in North Carolina, which he attended as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow.  He went on to obtain a master’s degree in organization and leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2006 and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

Dr. Houlihan greatly looks forward to the opportunity to lead Union County Public Schools and become part of the community.  He and his wife, Shannon, as well as their two children, Hayden and Hadley, will be transitioning to Union County in the coming weeks.

Parkwood Middle Science Teacher is February Hometown Hero

According to her students, Rebekah Fuerst is the best science teacher ever.
When asked why, students said she’s very passionate about science and it comes through in her teaching.

The Parkwood Middle science teacher was named the Hometown Hero for Union County Public Schools during a surprise presentation Friday, Feb. 19.
The school’s assistant principals Brian Davis and Susan Rodgers and a representative from Charles G. Monnett & Associates presented Fuerst with the award.

“I am really surprised,” Fuerst said. “I am shocked that someone would nominate me. I just love teaching science.”


As this month’s winner, Fuerst received a $250 gift card for classroom supplies and a pizza party for one of her classes.
Fuerst has been a teacher for six years. She has been working in UCPS for two years.

“She’s a great teacher and she’s fun,” said eighth grader JT Tyson. “This is my favorite class.”

Each month the Charles G. Monnett & Associates law firm honors teachers in Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Catawba, Iredell, Cabarrus and Union counties for their service in public education.

The nominations for the Hometown Hero Teacher Appreciation Award are ongoing throughout the school year. Winners are chosen based on the number of votes through an online voting contest held on the law firm’s website.

Students, families and faculty may nominate and vote for their special teacher by visiting the firm’s web site<>.

What parents need to know about kindergarten registration

Kindergarten registration runs Feb. 8 – 12

Monroe, NC—Welcome Class of 2029! Kindergarten registration for Union County Public Schools will run Feb. 8-12. Parents should register their child at the elementary school located in their attendance area.

“Entering kindergarten is an exciting time for children and families because it marks the beginning of a new and exciting phase of a child’s life,” said Dr. Cindy Croffut, director of elementary education. “In preparation for kindergarten, parents can be a great support as they work with their child at home to establish routines, create independence, and build excitement about school.”

To enroll in kindergarten in North Carolina, eligible children must have reached their fifth birthday on or before Aug. 31 (of the year of entrance). Parents should bring copies of their child’s birth certificate, immunization record, two proofs of residence and the Kindergarten Health Assessment Form before the first day of school. Items that qualify for proof of residence are: a notarized rental agreement or purchase agreement on a residence; a utility bill such as telephone, gas or electricity, that list the correct name and address; a driver’s license and automobile registration; an automobile insurance policy; a property insurance policy; an income tax W-2 form; or a property tax bill.

In addition, according to the North Carolina state law, all children entering kindergarten must present documented evidence of having received immunizations and physical examinations before attending school. Parents must have their doctor or the health department complete the Kindergarten Health Assessment (KHA) Report, which can be picked up from any elementary school. An up-to-date certificate of immunizations must also be submitted to the school.

Immunizations needed are as follows:

  • DTaP/DT vaccine – five doses (if the fourth dose was given on or after their fourth birthday, the fifth dose is not required)
  • Polio IPV vaccine – four doses (if the third dose was given on or after the fourth birthday, the fourth dose is not required)
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) – two doses (first dose on or after their first birthday; second dose before school entry)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine – three doses (third dose must be after child is 6 months old) HIB – at least one dose on/after 15 months of age (not required after age 5)
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox) – two doses (required for children entering Kindergarten after July 1, 2015)

If parents have questions about kindergarten registration, they should contact the school located in their attendance area. For information about open house visits, parents are encouraged to check school web sites or call the main office for details.

Click here to view the 2016 Kindergarten handbook.

(article courtesy of UCPS)


UCPS 2016 Graduation Schedule

Here is the Union County Public Schools 2016 Graduation Schedule!


UCPS 2016Graduation Schedule 2UCPS 2016Graduation Schedule 2