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Schools name interim superintendent

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SMITHFIELD — Johnston County has a new interim superintendent of schools.

After the sudden resignation of Jim Causby on Jan. 10, the school board named Brian Vetrano acting superintendent. Three days later, the board announced a long-term interim leader, Johnston County native Ben Williams.

“I look forward to the opportunity to help lead Johnston County Public Schools while the board conducts its search for a permanent superintendent,” said Williams, a North Johnston High School graduate who was most recently an area superintendent in the county.

Williams has also been a teacher, assistant principal and principal during his 20 years in education.

At his request, the school system said, he will not receive a bump in pay during his time as interim superintendent. His current annual salary is $97,607.04. Also, as of now, the school board has not set any allowances for any use of Williams’ personal car and cellphone while on school business, according to Nathaniel Shelton, the school system’s executive director of communications.

Williams, a military veteran, husband and father, began his interim duties Jan. 14. He is scheduled to serve through June 30.

“Johnston County Public Schools is a special place for me, and I am certain that the students, staff and communities will work together to continue our long history of excellence,” William said.

In a statement on Jan. 13, the Johnston County Board of Education thanked Vetrano for stepping in until it could settle on an interim leader. He was also acting superintendent after the retirement of Ross Renfrow in August 2019.

“The Board of Education would like to thank Mr. Vetrano for once again serving Johnston County Public Schools in this leadership capacity during an unexpected time of transition,” the school board said.

About Ben Williams

Williams earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He is also a graduate of N.C. State University, where he earned his master’s in school administration, his teaching certificate and a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Before that, Williams studied law enforcement technology at Johnston Community College.

Before he was an area superintendent in Johnston County, Williams was principal of three schools: North Johnston High, Archer Lodge Middle and River Dell Elementary. Also, he was an assistant principal at Corinth Holders High and Riverwood Middle.

Williams taught world history, civics and U.S. history for 10 years at North Johnston High. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1995 to 2003 and the U.S. Army Reserves from 2003 to 2009.

Williams is a member of Princeton Church of God, and he serves on the board of the Johnston County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.