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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Superintendent Lenker set to retire

FRI. | 3-15-24 | NEWS

     Dr. Ethan Lenker, superintendent of Pitt County Schools (PCS), recently announced his retirement. Lenker has worked in Pitt County for 11 years and is set to retire on July 31, 2024. 

     Before coming to Pitt County, Lenker worked in Sampson, Jones and Onslow counties. He also worked in the Virginia school system. In total, Lenker has worked in education for 37 years. 

     “[Pitt County is] probably the most diverse school system,” Lenker said. “I've been in some schools where the racial makeup was more similar or the social economics was more similar, [and] here it’s very broad.”

     During his tenure, Lenker has brought many programs and opportunities to PCS. He believes that the early colleges, the dual language program and the Tradesformers program are some of his greatest accomplishments. 


Photo by Ty Williams

     “Dr. Lenker, in my view, has always supported our school community and our students,” Principal Nydra Jones said. “During his time in Pitt County, he has been responsible for bringing many new instructional programs and initiatives to the county.”

     Jones believes that Lenker has supported Rose very much. Whether through the AVID program, virtual learning academy or advanced teaching roles, Lenker has backed Rose’s goals. 

     “Whatever he’s done for one school, he’s been conscious about doing for other schools,” Jones said. ”He has supported Rose throughout all of the things we have wanted to do, so whatever we wanted to do to improve instruction and improve the educational experience for our students, he has been in support of.”

     Lenker is nervous for retirement but plans to spend his remaining time as superintendent working mainly with budgets and hiring. 

     “School superintendents basically go 100 miles an hour all week long, and two days off is good, but now having five days off a week or seven days off a week might be a little bit challenging for me,” Lenker said. “I think [Pitt County] is just a great place, and I love it, but it’s just kind of time to go.”

     Lenker loves PCS and believes he will miss the staff and students the most. 

     “When you’ve done it as long as I have, you get to make good relationships, and those are what’s going to be the hardest,” Lenker said. “I really love Pitt County; I love my job; I really love being here; and I like when I get the opportunity to meet the students.”

     Lenker plans to stay in Pitt County after retirement and continue to work closely with the schools and the community in general.

     “I really want to work with principals and even superintendents on how to align projects and things of that nature,” Lenker said. “I’m also going to work with a local group here in Greenville called NC East Alliance, and that’s just really about aligning students, teachers and workforce development all together.”

     Leading up to Lenker’s retirement date, PCS will begin the hiring process for a new superintendent. 

     “When there’s any change in superintendent, that's a huge transition in leadership... Every superintendent has their own vision, goals and things like that, so with a new superintendent, there will most likely be a new vision and new priorities,” Jones said. “In the meantime, I do have full confidence in our school board; I have full confidence in their ability and their choice of our next superintendent.”

     The hiring process for a superintendent includes many resumes, interviews and discussions. 

     “It's really just a matter of trying to get a good fit... We’ve got a great team; the principals we have in place are fantastic; my senior team that I work with on a daily basis does amazing work,” Lenker said. “PCS is going to be great.”

     Lenker believes that he and his team have done a lot for students. He will miss many aspects of being superintendent. 

     “I’m going to miss Rose; I’m going to miss PCS for sure,” Lenker said. 

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