Sunday, June 4, 2023

Brunswick County Schools hires new superintendent

Brunswick County Superintendent Steve Barger. (Courtesy BCS)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A new superintendent has been selected in Brunswick County; Dale Cole, superintendent for Clay County Schools.

Brunswick County Board of Education chair Steve Barger announced the hiring at a committee meeting on Tuesday.

“I think he’ll be a great asset to the team,” Barger said during the meeting.

According to Brunswick County Schools, Cole was unanimously chosen from 30 candidates. In a statement included on the district’s website, Barger wrote:

“Although many qualified candidates applied, the Board of Education felt Mr. Cole’s experience, leadership, and dedication to students and staff would best serve Brunswick County Schools’ students, employees, and community for years to come. The Board of Education is confident Mr. Cole will lead our great school system to even higher achievement.”

Cole has around 30 years of education experience, including serving as the Clay County Schools superintendent since 2019. Cole has also served as director of instructional services, career and technical education, and testing for Hyde County Schools, principal in several Beaufort County Schools, a high school English teacher and football coach. He was also named the 2013 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year.

Cole has a bachelor’s degree in English Education-Secondary, a master’s degree in school administration and an education specialist degree in administration and supervision, all from East Carolina University. He is also married to his wife, Kim, and has three children.

“I am so very honored and proud to be selected as the next superintendent of Brunswick County Schools,” Cole said. 

Cole has also outlined his vision for the first 90 days as superintendent of Brunswick County Schools on the district’s website, which states:

“During my first 90 days in BCS, it is my goal to visit all schools and engage in listening sessions with all staff members, certified and classified. I am encouraged by the fact that in the 2022 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey, over 80% of our teachers felt that BCS was “a good place to work and learn.” However, I would like to see that number move to 90% or better. Our district numbers show that 40-50% of our teachers have concerns with how we use their time, how much influence they have on decision-making, how their professional development is provided, how student conduct is managed, and how the NCTWC survey is used to improve their schools. I will be asking teachers for their specific ideas for improvement in these areas in order to provide a focus for our leadership team. At the same time, I will be carrying out a full review of all safety procedures at all schools, including how we carry out, document results, and continuously improve our fire drill procedures, lock-down drill procedures, tornado drill procedures, etc. Student and staff safety is our first priority, so I will not feel comfortable moving forward in other areas until I have a clear handle on safety for all. I believe that a successful school district will live the following values: 

  • a positive and safe working and learning environment
  • high-quality and research-based Instruction in all classrooms every day
  • intentional continuous improvement
  • a growth mindset
  • teamwork
  • leadership by all
  • intentional family and community partnership”

Barger will replace interim superintendent Les Tubb, who began in February following the resignation of Jerry Oates to take on the role of North Carolina’s deputy state superintendent.

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