Category Archives: Union County Board of Education

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.

County Commissioners Stonewall on School Repairs

Tuesday night, Union County Board of Education members Melissa Merrell and Leslie Boyd personally appeared at the Board of County Commissioners meeting to request approval for certain budget transfers.

When UCPS requested the 2015-16 budget, they included a request for $2 Million Dollars in “Unspecified Maintenance Capital Outlay.” The County chose not to include that request in the budget and responded that they would prefer the school board come to them when these needs arose.

In July 2015, UCPS  presented the County with numerous items including flooring at Western Union Elementary, ADA renovations at Prospect Elementary and Forest Hills High School, Toilet Partition and Fixture Replacements at Wesley Chapel ES, South Providence, Sun Valley MS, Prospect ES, CATA and Parkwood MS. Since then, there have been options, letters, meetings among staff, a joint board meeting, and now a detailed presentation by the Vice Chair of the BOE to the County.

UCPS has not asked the county for additional funds on top of the 2015-16 budget but instead has asked to use funds originally allocated for two other projects, Benton Heights renovations and the installation of an IP platform, which would transition the school’s camera system to an internet based system. BOE Vice Chair Leslie Boyd explained that the Benton Heights project could not be completed within the budget originally allocated and would potentially be placed on a list of projects to be funded by a proposed bond. She further explained that there is a multi-faceted security system in place in the schools, and that the emerging needs are currently a higher priority. In other words, the Board of Education prioritized their needs within their current budget.

The Commissioners voted to deny this request and instead suggested it should be raised in next year’s budget meeting. They expressed concern about taking money from the Benton Heights project or from the potential security of the students. If this was a sincere concern, they could have offered additional funds so that UCPS could move forward with the original projects and address maintenance issues. Instead, they are essentially kicking the can down the road so that projects will continue to be delayed leading to potentially worsening conditions and rising costs.

Union County Weekly covered the Board of Ed presentation at the County Commissioner’s meeting in more detail. Here’s the link:

BOE members acquire roofing bid requests, emerging needs funding still in limbo


UCPS Named to College Board 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll!

_full_scholarbowlUnion County Public Schools is one of only two school districts in North Carolina named to the 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll by the College Board! UCPS is one of 425 districts in the country recognized  “for increasing access to AP®course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.”  Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County School District is the only other district in the state to receive this honor.

For more information, see:

UCPS 2016 Graduation Schedule

Here is the Union County Public Schools 2016 Graduation Schedule!


UCPS 2016Graduation Schedule 2UCPS 2016Graduation Schedule 2