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Diggs hired to lead district's EC and AIG departments

PITTSBORO, N.C. — The Chatham County Board of Education has approved the hiring of veteran educator Melvin Diggs as executive director of theMelvin Diggs district’s Exceptional Children’s (EC) and Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) programs. He’ll bring nearly two decades of experience to the role when he begins Feb. 4.

“Mr. Diggs’ experiences at the school, district and state levels will undoubtedly serve us well as we work to support our exceptional and advanced learners,” Chatham County Schools (CCS) Superintendent Dr. Derrick D. Jordan said.

Diggs’ reach in special education is extensive, from teaching exceptional children in classrooms to developing and implementing policies for special student populations that guided an entire school system. As a consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Diggs provided technical assistance and professional development to EC directors and others throughout the state. He’s shifting that focus to CCS.

“We’re expecting growth out of all of our students,” Diggs said. “They will learn, they will grow, they will become more successful students at the end of the day.

“Regardless of whether they’re EC students or AIG students, we all need to be planning for their success, whether it’s work life or college.”

That growth, Diggs said, begins with him.

“My leadership is one where I may know a lot, but I need to know more,” he said. “I’m really there to build capacity for the team, because I’m only one person.”

Diggs said he’ll count on the team he’s inheriting to help him learn what’s working within the department in order to build a plan that will enhance those areas. Some change may be necessary, particularly as stipulated by laws and policies, he said. Where there’s room for input from stakeholders — including students, parents and staff members — Diggs said he’s all ears.  

Married with five children, Diggs said he likes to travel and enjoys fishing, something Chatham County will afford him.

“It’s a county with a bright future, and I’m interested in being a part of that future,” Diggs said.

The addition of Diggs has enhanced the district, said Dr. Amanda Hartness, the district’s assistant superintendent for academic services and instructional support.

“The division could not be more excited to have Mr. Diggs join our academic family. His expertise and experience will help ensure maximum outcomes for all students. I expect great things from the Exceptional Children’s and Academically Gifted division under his leadership,” Hartness said.  

Published Jan. 20, 2019