Austin Obasohan

“Having a shared vision from the beginning is very important, rather than to come in and say, ‘This is what I think is a great idea.’ ... It wasn’t one person’s initiative. It was our initiative, as a district.”
— Sara D. Davis for Education Week
— Sara D. Davis for Education Week
Focus of Strength:College Readiness
District:Duplin County Schools, Kenansville, N.C.

After Austin Obasohan visited Duplin Early College High School on the campus of James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, N.C., he was inspired.

The academic expectations for students were high there, and nearly all students were graduating from high school—most with an associate degree. The then-new superintendent of the 9,375-student Duplin County schools said to himself: If this is working, why not offer it to all students?

“We want a unified commitment to give every child the same opportunity,” says Obasohan, who came on the job in July 2010. “We can no longer afford pockets of excellence. We want to make sure that every, every, every child in Duplin County experiences what early-college students are experiencing.

“That’s why we decided to scale up,” he says. “Because we think it would be an injustice to deprive any child.”

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