- Union County Public Schools
- Meet the Superintendent
Meet the Superintendent
Andrew G. Houlihan, Ed. D
Dr. Andrew G. Houlihan was named superintendent by the UCPS Board of Education on July 26, 2016, chosen for his leadership, experience and dedication to students. Before joining UCPS, Dr. Houlihan was chief academic officer for the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
Dr. Houlihan’s goal for UCPS is to ensure that all students are producing at the highest level and are being prepared for a quality life and career beyond high school.
His vision for UCPS is to be the best school system in the state and nation.
Dr. Houlihan, an advocate of teamwork, feels the “collective group” can accomplish goals much better than someone in isolation.
He encourages educators to strive toward continual growth and learning, as he believes there is a need for continuous improvement.
Dr. Houlihan’s career in public education began as an elementary school teacher in Wake County 15 years ago. He has served as an elementary school principal (2010-2012) and school support officer (2012-2013) for Houston Independent School District and held other administrative positions in the Austin Independent School District (2007-2010).
He held several cabinet-level positions for HISD, including chief human resources officer, chief school support officer and chief school officer for major projects.
Dr. Houlihan earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Elon University in North Carolina, where he was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. He earned a master’s degree in organization and leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College (2006) and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.
The National School Public Relations Association named Dr. Houlihan a Superintendent to Watch in March 2019. He was one of 14 superintendents nationwide and the only North Carolina school system leader to earn the award in 2019. The award winners have less than five years of experience as a superintendent and have demonstrated engagement through a variety of strategies, used new communication technology tools and expanded two-way communication and outreach efforts.
In addition, Dr. Houlihan was named an Ed Week Leader to Learn From. As a member of the 10th class, he was recognized in February 2022 for prescient work--both before and during the pandemic--setting up tutoring programs, creating teacher-training for remote learning and boosting student support for counseling and early reading.
Highlights of Dr. Houlihan's Tenure as UCPS Superintendent
- Received $3.7 million School Climate and Transformation Grant from U.S. Department of Education
- Moved four schools out of low-performing status under North Carolina Accountability Model
- Named 2019 Sandy Hook Promise Start with Hello District Winner
- Redirected funding to support strategic academic initiatives, such as literacy, personalized learning and college/career readiness
- Developed a plan to address social and emotional learning and educator self-care
- Developed Strategic Improvement Plan for six low performing schools
- Led collaboration with the Board of Education to develop a five-year strategic plan
- Streamlined budgeting process to be more efficient
- Expanded Dual Language Programming
- Acquired $27 million federal Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grant aimed to improve teacher/leader development
- Successfully executed bond campaign, resulting in receiving $54 million for seven projects