This former teacher, principal, school superintendent, and adjunct professor became president and CEO of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center in 2003. The non-profit organization works to improve statewide performance for pre-kindergarten through high school students. Dr. Sam Houston was also the executive director of the North Carolina Education Standards and Accountability Commission and executive director of the University of North Carolina Center for School Leadership Development. RJR-Nabisco Foundation has recognized him as an innovative leader in educational programs. Houston is a graduate of Appalachian State, East Carolina University, and UNC Greensboro.