State Superintendent Mark Johnson recently announced a new chief of staff to help oversee North Carolina public schools. The former charter school leader officially began his duties on Monday.

Joseph Maimone is the founder and longtime headmaster of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Rutherford County. Under his leadership, the charter school went from a little over 100 students in the late 90's to more than 1,200 today. Maimone resigned that position in July.

Some public school advocates aren't happy with the superintendent's pick.

“It's very concerning that this superintendent is continuing to surround himself with officials that are supporting the privatization of public schools,” says Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. “You also have the Innovative School District, which will be headed by a charter company, so there are some big concerns here.”

Superintendent Johnson says Maimone's strong management experience and background in K-12 education will be a big asset to the department and to schools across the state.

Maimone has also served on the N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board since 2013. The group makes recommendations on which charter schools to approve and close.

*You can follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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