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Catawba County Schools Superintendent Selected as 2022 NCSSA Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award Winner

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The North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA) has announced the selection of Dr. Matt Stover, Superintendent of Catawba County Schools, as the recipient of the Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award. The award is presented in honor and recognition of a superintendent who has demonstrated a strong commitment to lifelong learning, unwavering integrity in leadership, and transformation of vision into action.

This annual award is presented to a graduate of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association’s Next Generation Superintendent Development Program (NGSDP), a program that is designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s public schools. Dr. Stover was selected by former Brad Sneeden Leadership Award recipients.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Brad Sneeden, who was serving as Carteret County Schools’ Superintendent at the time of his death in October, 2008 at the age of 56. Among the innovative efforts he brought to this district was the establishment of the Marine Science Academy, later renamed as a memorial to him, which exposes students to hands-on marine science activities.

Previously, Dr. Sneeden served as the Associate Vice-President for Leadership Development and Director of the Principals’ Executive Program, the Deputy State Superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education, an adjunct professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Director of the Office of School Services at East Carolina University, and as the Craven County Schools’ Superintendent. Dr. Sneeden led with innovation and vision in preparing administrators for visionary leadership while never wavering from ethics of the highest order.

“I am honored to receive this award, stated Dr. Matt Stover. “The Superintendents who have received this award before me are outstanding leaders and role models for all Superintendents. I am thankful to the NCSSA, Mr. Jack Hoke, and all my colleagues across NC for their support and service. I am also extremely thankful for my team in Catawba County Schools, the Board of Education, and my family. The motto of “being around great people only makes me better” is certainly true with these groups! Many times as a Superintendent, your own family is affected, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively, given the job responsibilities, so I want to especially thank Melia (my wife), Will, and Josh (my two boys, 16 and 15) for their love and support throughout my career!”

“The Catawba County Board of Education congratulates Dr. Matt Stover as the recipient of the NCSSA ‘s 2022 Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award. Dr. Stover has demonstrated himself to be a lifelong learner who is deserving of this award. Because of his commitment to continuous learning and educational innovation, Dr. Stover has helped Catawba County Schools to be THE district in which to live and work.” Leslie H. Barnette, Chairman, Catawba County Board of Education

In selecting the award winner, the following criteria were considered:

● Demonstrates vision and the ability to translate vision into specific goals. The recipient should be a person whose leadership has resulted in his or her district developing and/or implementing innovative programs and projects to benefit students.

● Demonstrates a strong commitment to life-long learning, focusing on the continuous improvement of his or her leadership skills

● Demonstrate evidence of setting and achieving high standards of ethical conduct within his or her organization.

“Dr. Stover exemplifies the traits that guided Dr. Brad Sneeden’s career in educational leadership. He has demonstrated a vision for the Catawba County Schools as an educational innovator and a strong commitment to continuous improvement and the highest standards of ethical conduct. He is a very deserving recipient of this award,” said Jack Hoke, NCSSA Executive Director.


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