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VIDEO: Meet Scott Ralls, new president of Wake Tech

When Dr. Stephen Scott announced his retirement from Wake Technical Community College, he left big shoes to fill. Now, another Scott has taken on the role of president at the college — Dr. Scott Ralls. We sat down with him as he prepares to begin his first year leading the college.

Ralls most recently served as president of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). But moving to North Carolina means coming home for him. Ralls led the North Carolina Community College System from 2008 to 2015 and was president at Craven Community College before that.

While he wouldn’t answer my question about whether eastern or western barbecue reigns supreme, Ralls repeatedly spoke highly of North Carolina and its community college system. He noted that the state’s communities often generously support their local colleges, referencing in particular the recent bond referendum passed in Wake County.

Sixty-five percent of Wake County voters supported the bond, which will pour $349.1 million into new construction at Wake Tech. The promised expansions include new facilities dedicated to public safety, health care, automative repair, and automation. Those will take six years to complete.

Along the way, Ralls is focused on boosting collaboration among institutions across the world of education. That was one of his takeaways from Virginia, where he worked with Amazon to create a specialized cloud computing program to prepare students for work at the online retailer’s HQ2 in Arlington.

Robert Kinlaw

Robert was director of multimedia for EducationNC. He is a journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker in the Triangle. Robert attended both public and private grade schools in North Carolina and graduated from the Media and Journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has produced video content for The News & Observer, ABC11-WTVD, UNC-Chapel Hill, The News Reporter and more. His short documentary Princess Warrior received an Excellence in Filmmaking award at the 2017 Carrboro Film Festival. Visit his website at robertkinlaw.com.