Regional Directors

The Regional Director team develops and aligns systems, processes and procedures to provide a unified system of statewide support to North Carolina Local School Administrative Units (LEAs). The regional support structure organizes services to schools and districts through an efficient geographically based model. The Regional Director leads the support and services provided in each region. The director facilitates and participates in the design, implementation, and evaluation of all services and school improvement practices for North Carolina districts and schools. Other key duties include:

  • Providing a communication loop to all superintendents, central office administrators, principals, and teachers about the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate policies, processes and practices that focus on improving student achievement;
  • Providing oversight, management, and supervision to align work process with other key Agency and district staff;
  • Leading cross Agency regional teams and leading all internal and external communication regarding the regional team’s work and support.
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Click on the county name to find your Regional Director contact information.

Regional Director Information

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Dr. Jeremy Gibbs leads support services for the Western Region of our state. Prior to joining the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), Dr. Gibbs served as the Chief Academic Officer for Transylvania County Schools. In this role, he led instructional services and curriculum for K-12 programs for the school system and provided leadership for several other major system functions including: AdvancEd Accreditation, School Improvement Plans, School Leadership Evaluation and Development, as well as Professional Development. His direct reports led critical areas including Academically/Intellectually Gifted Programs, Exceptional Children Services, At-Risk/Alternative Student Programs, Federal Grants, Career-Technical Education, Counseling and Student Services, Accountability, and Student Information Systems. Prior to this role he served as the school system’s Director of Human Resources for three years.

Prior to moving to central services, Dr. Gibbs served two years as principal at Brevard High School. During his time at Brevard, the school implemented a 1:1 laptop computer initiative, reached its highest 4-year graduation rate in school history at over 90%, was ranked on the 2013 U.S. News & World Report list of Best High Schools in NC, and completely restructured the school’s schedule to incorporate a SMART lunch concept supporting more opportunities for learning and enrichment for students in addition to supporting job-embedded collaboration time for teachers. Prior to moving to Brevard, Dr. Gibbs spent nine years in the Wake County Public School System as an assistant principal and an instrumental music teacher after having started his career in education in Pitt County, NC.

He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from East Carolina University and a Master of School Administration from NC State University. He is a proud NC Teaching Fellow and NC Principal Fellow as well. He completed the doctorate program in Educational Leadership at Western Carolina University (WCU) earning his Ed.D. in 2016. He joined WCU as an adjunct faculty member in 2017 to teach in the doctoral program for educational leadership.

Jeremy.Gibbs@dpi.nc.gov | (984) 236-2134

Stephanie Dischiavi leads support services for the Northwest Region of our state. Prior to joining the NC Department of Public Instruction in January 2019, Stephanie served 20 years as a teacher and principal in Hickory Public Schools.

Stephanie has fourteen years of experience as a primary, elementary, and middle school administrator. As principal of Southwest Primary, Stephanie led the opening of the first Pre-K – 2nd grade school in the Northwest Region which also hosted the implementation of the first Dual Language Immersion program in the region. This opportunity called for progressive leadership in recruitment and retention of teachers, instructional leadership to establish a K-2 Core Instructional program, and the development and implementation of operational and instructional systems and protocols to ensure continued and sustainable school improvement efforts.
During her five year tenure as principal of Northview Middle School, Northview earned both national and state recognition. Northview Middle School was designated a National Middle School to Watch (2015) honoring best practices of a middle school model, was awarded the NC Lighthouse Award (2016) in recognition of efforts to further student achievement, and was designated a North Carolina School to Watch by the NC School Boards Association and Re-Contexts Data Solutions (2017) for maintaining outstanding student growth.
Stephanie’s first administrative assignment was at Jenkins Elementary where she was principal for seven years and one year as assistant principal. Prior to school administration, Stephanie served five years as an elementary teacher at Oakwood Elementary.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Akron in her home state of Ohio. As a NC Principal Fellow, Stephanie earned a Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2004. Stephanie is a resident of Hickory, NC. She is married to Jim Dischiavi and has a step daughter, Nicole, who is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Western Carolina University.

Stephanie.Dischiavi@dpi.nc.gov | (828) 234-2199

Dr. Heather Mullins leads support services for the Southwest Region of our state.  Prior to joining the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Dr. Mullins served as the Chief Academic Officer for Newton-Conover City Schools.  In this role, she led instructional services and curriculum for K-12 programs for the school system and provided leadership for several other major system functions including: District Improvement Planning, Beginning Teacher Support, Beginning Teacher Support, Academically/Intellectually Gifted Programs, and Teacher Leadership Programs. Her direct reports led critical areas including Exceptional Children Services, Pre-K, Federal Programs, English Learners, Career-Technical Education, Accountability, and Technology.

As CAO, Dr. Mullins led Newton-Conover’s nationally-recognized district Navigate initiative to address the need to achieve digital convergence. She collaborated with Catawba Valley Community College to develop and brand The Summit at Newton-Conover. The district was named Catawba Valley Community College Partner of the Year in 2016 for the development of a robust and successful College and Career Promise program at The Summit. She developed the Teacherpreneurs program that provided teacher leaders an opportunity to collaborate and address problems of practice in their schools using improvement science through an immersive professional learning experience with opportunities to learn about change theory, policy development, public school funding, conflict management, and leadership. Dr. Mullins also served as a key contributor to the development of a national award winning STEM school, a national award winning Leader in Me school, a state recognized personalized learning school, one of two national Title I Schools to Watch from North Carolina, and a successful dual language school. 

Previously, Dr. Mullins served as a Regional Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, a curriculum specialist/instructional coach in Hickory City Schools, and a high school English teacher and coach in both Hickory City Schools and Wilkes County Schools.  In 2002, Dr. Mullins achieved her National Board Certification.  

Dr. Mullins holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University where she was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. She completed her Master’s degree in Gifted Education at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.  Dr. Mullins completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Western Carolina University. She was awarded the NCMLE Outstanding Central Office Administrator to Watch Award in 2015 and the Western Carolina University Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership in 2016. In 2018, Dr. Mullins was the recipient of the Dr. Sam Houston Leadership Award for the NCASA Aspiring Superintendents’ Program. She has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at North Wilkes High School. Heather is also a co-founder of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She currently serves on the American Institutes of Research Response to COVID-19 Advisory.

Heather.Mullins@dpi.nc.gov | 828.639.1902

Dr. Frances Harris-Burke leads support Services for the Piedmont Triad region of the state. Prior to joining the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in January 2019 for this position, she served for 8 years in different positions at the department. Frances served for 26 years as a principal, assistant principal, Chief Education Officer, Deputy Director, teacher, adjunct professor in Virginia, Connecticut and Washington DC.

Prior to coming to North Carolina, Frances worked with two different non-profit organizations serving as a Deputy Director for the Student Support Services located in Washington DC for six years. While in Washington, DC, she worked with charter schools leading three federal grants in the areas of Safe School Healthy Students, Early Literacy, and Teacher Leadership and Mentoring. Prior to that position, she served as the Chief Education Officer for the Bell School Network in Leesburg, Virginia.

Frances spent many years working statewide with the Connecticut Department of Education.. She has also served as an elementary principal (Connecticut Principal of the Year 1997). She turned around an elementary school in East Hartford which became a satellite school and a finalist for Title I State-wide School of Distinction. While in Connecticut, Frances also served as a middle school assistant principal, consultant for the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) and an elementary classroom teacher. During her leadership in East Hartford, Connecticut, Frances received the Mayor's Award, Superintendent's Award and School/Business Partnership Award focused on her leadership , collaboration and organizational management .

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Hampton University, Masters Degree in Reading and a Sixth year certificate in Intermediate Administration and Supervision from Central Connecticut State University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from University of Hartford in Connecticut .Frances believes in the power of collective impact, collaboration and teamwork. She has led many school districts and leaders to be successful and impacted school district improvement and academic achievement performance for students. Having over thirty years of leadership experience, she has worked with private, magnet, charter, public, rural, large and small school districts. She is married to Lawrence and has two adult children: Brandon, LaTonia and a grand daughter named Naja.

Frances.Harris-Burke@dpi.nc.gov | (703) 217-8170

Dr. Kendra King leads support services for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as the Sandhills Regional Director.  Most recently she served as the Executive Director of Student Services for Wilson County Schools.  In this role, Dr. King focused on increasing mental health training among staff while overseeing programs in the areas of section 504 plans, homelessness, foster care, homebound services, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, enrollment, and student records.   

Previously, Dr. King served as the Director of Student Services and Achievement for Charlottesville City Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia.  During her tenure, she was instrumental in supporting student achievement which led to graduation rates increasing from 89% to 96% as well as the implementation of strategic initiatives to expand opportunities for all students and eliminate disparities.  While in Virginia, Dr. King was also a principal of Broadus Wood Elementary in Albemarle County Public Schools. Under her leadership, the school was accredited for each of her six years.  

After earning a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a teaching certification through North Carolina Central University, Dr. King began her teaching career in Durham Public Schools. Following a successful teaching career, she was an assistant principal in Durham Public Schools and Wilson County Schools. Dr. King holds master’s degrees in special education and school administration from North Carolina Central University, as well as a doctorate degree in educational administration and supervision from Virginia State University. Dr. King is a North Carolina Principal Fellow and completed the Aspiring Superintendents’ Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  

Kendra.King@dpi.nc.gov

Melany Paden leads support Services for the North Central region of the state. Prior to joining the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in January 2019 for this current position, she served for nearly 5 years in different positions at the agency. Melany has served in the education field for over 20 years in the public and private sector as a principal, director, Education Innovation Specialist, coach, and teacher in North Carolina, New Jersey and South Carolina.

She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Morris College in her home state, South Carolina. She earned a Master’s Degree in School Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Cambridge College in Cambridge Massachusetts. She is certified in North Carolina as a school superintendent, principal (K-12) and classroom teacher (K-6). Her passion for school transformation, equity for all students and commitment to innovative education has positively impacted her work as an educational leader.

As a first-year teacher in Sumter, South Carolina she received the Sally Mae First Year Teacher Award. In New Providence New Jersey she taught 5th grade science and was recognized for her leadership and innovation when she partnered with Lucent Technologies to organize the annual Science Fair at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School. After relocating to North Carolina she taught 3rd grade at a private school and then joined the facility at Aversboro Elementary school, in Wake County as a 5th grade teacher. She became principal of a private preschool-middle school in Wake County. There she led the school through national and international accreditation. In partnership with the Department of Non-Public Instruction she established and opened the school's high school unit. After her transformation work in Wake County she became principal of Southeast Halifax High School in Halifax County, North Carolina. There she led a dynamic team of educators and students to unprecedented student growth and school improvement. She was recognized for her efforts throughout the community and received the Principal's Excellence and Achievement Award from Halifax Community College.

Melany also worked for North Carolina New Schools as an Education Innovation Specialist. She is a resident of Wake County and is happily married to Antoine Paden, a graduate from the University of Georgia who is employed by Accenture as an IT Manager. Together they have four beloved children, Taylor, Myah, Mikaela, and Malcolm.

melany.paden@dpi.nc.gov | Phone: (919) 637-3783

Dr. Beth Metcalf leads support services for the Southeast Region of our state. Dr. Metcalf has served North Carolina public schools' student and families for 23 years. Prior to joining the Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) she served as the Executive Director in the Instructional Services Department in Pender County Schools. In that role her primary responsibilities included all areas of elementary learning and assessment including strategic planning, program design of all core instructional areas, program evaluation, district assessment development, resource allocation, certified and non-certified staff evaluations, K-12 policy development, district wide Pk-13 MTSS implementation and policy development, management of a variety of federal, state, and local grants, after school programing, summer programming, Read to Achieve, PBIS, AdvancED Accreditation, school and district data team development, professional development in core content areas as well as technology, adult learning, and leadership. She also focused on PreK-13 data compilation and protocols for data analytics. As the K-12 data support lead for the district, she led the district-wide data team, while coaching and developing the next generation of data support leaders. She supported the development of data profiles to make decisions directly related to student outcomes in areas including academics, behavior, attendance, policy revisions, and community perception and engagement.

Dr. Metcalf is a 3-time alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, most recently graduating with her doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2011, and a National Board Certified Teacher. Her education career began in New Hanover County Schools as a classroom teacher before working at UNC-Wilmington as the Professional Development Partnership Teacher-in-Residence, NCDPI, Pender County Schools, and now again at NCDPI. Dr. Metcalf is also serving her second term as the chair of the Board of Directors for Communities in Schools of the Cape Fear. She is a strong advocate for wrap around student support and bringing community resources, services, parents and volunteers together to help meet the many needs of students. She was especially vigilant in putting this into action when Pender County was devastated by Hurricane Florence in 2018 and over 1,000 students were displaced by catastrophic flooding.

Dr. Metcalf, along with her colleague and co-author Dr. Kelly Batts wrote “Will it Phase You”, a nationally marketed board game that was the first UNCW branded product that came from the Office of Technology Transfer, the predecessor to what is now known as UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship . She has also taught instructor training skills aboard Camp Johnson Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools and has interned with the Barking-Dagenham School District in London, England during their implementation of a set of national curriculum standards.

Dr. Metcalf has strong ties to the Southeast Region and has spent her entire education career living and working in this region. Dr. Metcalf resides in Pender County with her husband and daughter.

Beth.Metcalf@dpi.nc.gov

Dr. Catherine Stickney leads support services for the Northeast Region of our state. She brings 30 years of experience in education to this role.

Prior to her role with NCDPI, Dr. Stickney served as the Superintendent of Northbridge Public Schools in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Prior to her superintendency, she served as Assistant Superintendent; Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Grant Coordinator; and Inclusion Specialist. Dr. Stickney has taught in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. She has served as a special education teacher and literacy teacher, a classroom teacher at the early childhood and elementary level, as well as an Adjunct Professor for American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

During her tenure as Superintendent, Dr. Stickney worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She served as a trainer for the MA Educator Evaluation System; her district assisted in the development, pilot, and implementation of the Guidebook for Inclusive Practices. The district also served as a site for the creation of the video resource library. She has presented with DESE staff members to share best practices in evaluation and the implementation of Department tools to support educators to improve the quality of their instruction.

Dr. Stickney earned a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, a Master's Degree in Elementary Education, a CAGS in School Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Catherine.Stickney@dpi.nc.gov | (774) 218-0502