NCASA | 1980's
After 1980, membership continued to grow to 1,550 in 1981 and by 1984-85 had reached 2,015. In 1980, NCASA was requested to take over the administration of the Superintendents Benefit Fund Charitable Trust which it managed until the Trust was dissolved in 1998. Also, the organization of Retired Superintendents continues to function through NCASA. During the first four years of its existence (1976-80), the Association made no distinction in membership groups or classification. Sentiment was growing to re-establish some of the subgroups as had existed prior to the formation of NCASA.
In response to these voices, the constitution was amended in 1980 to provide for the creation of three commissions as the major components of NCASA. These were the Superintendents’ Commission, the Supervisors’ Commission, and the Principals’ Commission. Each commission had its own officers and constitution, and they each first reported on their operations to the full membership at the annual meeting in Pinehurst, NC in December 1980. Thus, for the first time each member was now a member of one the commissions as well as a member of the parent association, NCASA. This arrangement was discontinued in 1989 when principals and assistant principals voted to leave NCASA and the Association became temporarily an organization of central office administrators only.
The period of the early and mid-1980’s was one of solid service and stability. Membership remained about constant at around 2,000 during these years with strong representation from all three commissions. With the withdrawal of the principals’ group in 1989, membership fell to about 800, the lowest level since 1977. Nonetheless, during the decades of the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Association established and maintained a strong presence in downtown Raleigh, and became a significant player with individuals, organizations, and groups who made decisions that impacted the public schools. The Association, through its history, has had close ties with four state superintendents: Craig Phillips, Bob Etheridge, Mike Ward and June Atkinson, as well as State School Board Chairmen Dallas Herring, David Bruton, Howard Hayworth, Dick Spangler, Jay Robinson, Phil Kirk and Howard Lee. During its history, NCASA has developed a strong liaison with the leadership of the General Assembly as well as with Governors Jim Holshouser, Jim Hunt, Jim Martin and Mike Easley.
One of the milestones of NCASA’s service programs to its membership began in July 1987, with the implementation of Project LEAD, an in-service and staff development program on a statewide basis funded to NCASA through a substantial grant from the U.S. Office of Education. This three-year project was part of a national initiative and provided timely staff development programs for hundreds of North Carolina’s local school administrators. The project was directed by Ossie Fields, assisted by Joyce Myers, and was coordinated through the eight regional centers of the Department of Public Instruction, which served as the delivery system. The program offerings made extensive use of professors from the University System as instructors and presenters.