Charlotte Country Day School selected Mark Green, a former all-America track star at the University of Houston, to become the first black to head a predominantly white private school in the state, the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools said.
Watts Hamrick, who headed the search committee, told The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer race was not the committee's focus.
"We hired Mark because he was in our view the best candidate out there, period, end of story," Hamrick said.
Reed, 44, came to Charlotte after working for 19 years at St. John's School in Houston, where he was the first African-American male on the faculty and rose from teacher-coach to assistant headmaster, the Observer said.
Orpheus Crutchfield, whose California firm helps private schools find minority teachers and administrators, told the newspaper such hiring is "glacial, but it is on an upward trend."
"They're playing catch-up, and people have not been trained to attract people of color," he said.