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Lee County Board of Education selects Dr. Chris Dossenbach to lead Lee County Schools as Superintendent

SANFORD, N.C. — After a nationwide search, the Lee County Board of Education has unanimously approved Dr. Chris Dossenbach as superintendent. His initial, four-year appointment was announced during tonight’s monthly meeting.

Lee County Board of Education Chair Sherry Lynn Womack said the board received many applications, reviewing each one closely, and kept coming back to Dossenbach.

“There is no one more uniquely qualified with his passion, dedication and knowledge, who is so clearly focused on the success of Lee County public schools,” Womack said. “The board has been very pleased with Dr. Dossenbach’s work as interim superintendent as he tackled many challenges during the transition and we appreciate his vital role during the performance audit and central office changes.

“He has established a solid pattern of honesty, transparency and accountability, and has already proven that he can make tough decisions, enforce high standards and actively promote change and accountability. We are blessed to have him in Lee County Schools and excited about working together — not only to improve academic performance and achievement, but also to unite our community in supporting our public schools.”

Before being named superintendent, Dossenbach was serving Lee County Schools as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and as interim superintendent since Dr. Andy Bryan resigned from that position last spring.

But Dossenbach is a Lee County native with a deep history in Lee County Schools. He describes himself as “a product of the school system,” having been educated in the local schools before attending North Carolina State University, where he did his student teaching with Lee County Schools and earned the bachelor’s degree in English with certifications to teach in middle and high schools.

He chose the high-school option, beginning his career at Southern Lee High School in 2007. While teaching, Dossenbach also served as department chair, created a curriculum for the school’s Freshman Seminar, sponsored the Student Government Association and was lead teacher for the Freshman Academy.

Dossenbach later moved into the school’s administration, serving as assistant principal for two years before being named principal, where he was responsible for leading a 120-member staff and more than 1,150 students. During his time as principal, Southern Lee made significant academic progress, earned a performance grade of B and enjoyed a notable increase in the school’s ability to retain experienced teachers and staff.

“I am deeply honored to be named the next superintendent for Lee County Schools,” Dossenbach said. “This is not just a professional milestone for me, but a true calling to give back to a community that has given so much to me and my family.

“Most of all, I appreciate the confidence the board has placed in me as well as the staff, parents and all who have encouraged and supported me throughout my career. There are a lot of exciting opportunities ahead and I look forward to working with everyone and helping our students, staff and entire community thrive.”

As interim superintendent, Dossenbach has already been celebrating student achievement with a regular series of social media posts and an update every few weeks, available in English as “Thrive” and in Spanish as “Triunfar.” He also has reorganized district leadership — implementing changes to streamline and enhance support systems offered to students, staff and families — and worked to optimize educational resources and community engagement.

“We’ve been focused on reaching three overarching objectives,” he said. “We want to enhance academic performance, retain and attract top-tier educators, and foster increased parent and community engagement throughout our entire district.”

In addition to his undergraduate degree, Dossenbach received his doctorate in educational leadership from Wingate University in 2017 as well as an education specialist degree in educational leadership from Wingate University and the Master of School Administration from North Carolina State University.

The Lee County Board of Education will hold a swearing-in ceremony and reception on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m., in the Jimmy L. Love Sr. Board Room at Lee County High School in Sanford. It is open to the public.

James Alverson