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Williams to Serve as Chancellor on an Interim Basis of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics


For more information contact Joni Worthington at (919)962-4629 or

July 19, 2010


Williams to Serve as Chancellor on an Interim Basis of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

DURHAM – Thomas J. Williams of Raleigh, who retired from the North Carolina public schools after more than three decades as a classroom teacher, principal, and superintendent, will become chancellor on an interim basis of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics on August 17. Williams, appointed today by UNC President Erskine Bowles, succeeds Gerald Boarman, who is stepping down on July 31 to become head of the Bullis School in Potomac, Md. UNC Vice President and General Counsel Laura Bernstein Luger will serve as acting chancellor from August 1 until Williams’ arrival.

A native of Massachusetts, Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in educational leadership from East Carolina University. After beginning his career in 1975 as a teacher and coach in the Wake County Schools, Williams moved into administration and served as a principal at elementary, middle, and high schools in Johnston and Granville counties before being named assistant superintendent of Johnston Public Schools in 1994. Three years later, he was recruited by Governor James B. Hunt to serve as executive director of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education. In 2000, he was named superintendent of Granville County Schools, a post he held until retiring in 2007. That same year, he founded Strategic Educational Alliances, a consulting firm that offers strategic planning and leadership development services. 

Williams has served on the ECU College of Education Advancement Council, the NC School of Science and Mathematics Advisory Council, the NC Professional Teaching Standards Board, the NC School Improvement Panel, and the boards of the Public School Forum, NC Partnership for Excellence, and Communities in School of NC. His many professional honors include induction into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (2000), induction into the ECU Educators Hall of Fame (2002) and recognition as UNCP’s Alumnus of the Year (2005).

Before being named the University of North Carolina’s senior legal officer in 2008, Luger spent 27 years in private practice. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, she has taught legal writing and research at UNC-Chapel Hill and served as faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. A state-certified mediator, she currently serves on the advisory board of the Center for International Understanding. 

The NCSSM Board of Trustees has formed a search committee of trustees, faculty, students, and alumni to help identify a permanent successor to Chancellor Boarman. The Board of Trustees will forward a slate of finalists to President Bowles for consideration. The new chancellor, upon nomination by the President, must be elected by the UNC Board of Governors.