DURHAM -- The Durham Public Schools district enters a new era.
Dr. Pascal Mubenga was sworn in Monday morning at the district headquarters. He took the oath of office with his wife by his side.
“I'm excited about the opportunities that await me,” he told a room full of his supporters.
Mubenga, 51, comes from Franklin County where he also served as superintendent for public schools. He takes the reign from Bert L'Homme, who retired earlier this year.
“I really wanted to take on this challenge. I've done some great work,” Mubenga said.
Members of the school board said Mubenga was just the person they needed to fill the position.
“Dr. Mubenga had everything that Durham Public Schools is looking for. He had experience raising scores across the board,” said Mike Lee, school board member.
Mubenga outlined his first 90 days in office. He said he wants to spend his first few weeks researching and gathering data on the district.
“I think I'm going to spend my first 90 days pretty much listening. It's going to take a whole village to correct some of the problems that we have at DPS. There are a lot of great things that happened here.”
Some of the problems include improving underperforming schools and improving the teacher retention rate.
“I think we need to do a better job of advertising our local supplements. What are we offering compared to other places as well.”
Mubenga also plans to come up with a strategic plan for the district in the coming months. He spent his first day interviewing candidates for key cabinet positions.
Mubenga's contract runs through 2021. His salary stands at $222,500 a year.