A. Craig Phillips Superintendent of the Year Award

Previous Superintendent of the Year Recipients

  • 2022 – Dr. Valerie Bridges, Edgecombe
    2021 – Dr. Brent Williams, Lenoir
    2020 – Dr. Anthony Jackson, Vance
    2019 – Dr. Patrick Miller, Greene
    2018 – Dr. Janet Mason, Rutherford
    2017 – Dr. Jim Merrill, Wake
    2016 – Dr. Freddie E. Williamson, Hoke
    2015 – Dr. Rodney Shotwell, Rockingham
    2014 – Brady Johnson, Iredell-Statesville
    2013 – Dr. Mark Adrian Edwards, Mooresville City
    2012 – Dr. Diane L. Frost, Asheboro
    2011 – Dr. Donald L. Martin, Jr., Winston-Salem/Forsyth
    2010 – Dr. Donna Cox Peters, Montgomery
    2009 – Dr. Terry K. Holliday, Iredell-Statesville
    2008 – Dr. Terry B. Grier, Guilford
    2007 – Dr. Shirley B.  Prince, Scotland
    2006 – Dr. Larry E. Price, Wilson
    2005 – Dr. James G. Merrill, Alamance-Burlington
    2004 – William R. McNeal, Jr., Wake
    2003 – Dr. Edward D. Sadler, Jr., Gaston
    2002 – Dr. Eric J. Smith, Charlotte-Mecklenburg
    2001 – Dr. Neil G. Pedersen, Chapel Hill-Carrboro
    2000 – Dr. Ann T. Denlinger, Durham
    1999 – Dr. Jerry D.  Weast, Guilford
    1998 – Dr. James F. Causby, Johnston
    1997 – Steven Wrenn,  Lee
    1996 – Douglas Scott Penland, Clay
    1995 – Dr. John B. Dunn, Edenton-Chowan
    1994 – Dr. Michael E. Ward, Granville
    1993 – Charles L.  Byrd, Hendersonville City
    1992 – Dr. Travis Twiford, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools
    1991 – Dr. James F. Causby, Polk
    1990 – Dr. G. Thomas Houlihan, Granville
    1989 – Dr. Emmett Malvin Floyd, Catawba
    1988 – Dr. Cleveland Hammonds, Durham

  • Edgecombe County Schools Superintendent Named 2022 A. Craig Phillips Superintendent of the Year

    2022 SoY Dr. Valerie Bridges
    Greensboro | Dr. Valerie Bridges, Superintendent of Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS), was named the 2022 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year at an awards ceremony held Thursday, Nov. 11.

    The award is jointly presented annually by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the North Carolina School Superintendents' Association (NCSSA) and the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), with sponsorship by Scholastic Education.

    Dr. Bridges has worked in public education more than 30 years, serving in all levels from teacher to administrator. She became Superintendent of Edgecombe County Schools in 2017 and quickly implemented changes to foster an environment of inclusion and positivity, inspiring students in her district to achieve. Her efforts have led to a 70% increase in district schools meeting or exceeding growth requirements in the region.

    "Dr. Bridges is a shining star and an example for students,” said NCSSA Executive Director Jack Hoke. “Her diligent efforts have greatly improved the educational experience and outcomes in her district. She seeks constant improvement and creates a synergy of focus from teacher to student and from parents to school board members. I cannot think of a better recipient for this year’s award."

    Under Dr. Bridges’ leadership ECPS has seen marked improvement in overall learning through the creation of the Micro School concept – a holistic approach tailored for the individual student to receive constant oversight and support, while also inspiring them to excel. Since the micro schools were implemented in 2018, participating students have continued to outscore their non-micro school peers significantly on every state assessment. In addition, student discipline referrals have also decreased by approximately 50%.

    In a time when school boards and parents are often at odds, Dr. Bridges has helped create a collaborative effort between families and the school board by blending student and parent feedback into current and future ECPS strategic goals.

    As the 2022 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Bridges will compete at the national level for Superintendent of the Year at the American Association of School Administrators' National Conference on Education in Nashville, TN, Feb. 17-19, 2022.

    Dr. Bridges was joined by seven other North Carolina Regional Superintendents of the Year, all of whom were nominees for this prestigious state award. The following regional winners were honored at the Nov. 11 ceremony:

    • Region 1 | Northeast | Matthew Cheeseman, Beaufort County Schools
    • Region 2 | Southeast | Lisa Jackson, Pamlico County Schools
    • Region 3 | Central | Valerie Bridges, Edgecombe County Public Schools
    • Region 4 | Sandhills | Aaron Fleming, Harnett County Schools
    • Region 5 | Piedmont/Triad | Kim Morrison, Mount Airy City Schools
    • Region 6 | Southwest | Andrew Houlihan, Union County Schools
    • Region 7 | Northwest | Mark Byrd, Wilkes County Schools
    • Region 8 | Western | Mark Garrett, McDowell County Schools

    Congratulations to all of the nominees, and thank you for your continued work for the children of North Carolina!