February 28, 2019

After a lengthy search that began in October, the Jasper County Board of Education has named Mr. Kenny Garland as the finalist for the Superintendent of Jasper County Schools. Mr. Garland (51) has over thirty years of public education experience, and currently is serving in his fifth year as a superintendent. He has also been a teacher, coach, athletic director, high school principal, central office administrator, and associate superintendent.

The naming of the finalist culminates five months of intense search activity by the Jasper County Board of Education. In October, the Board employed search consultants King-Cooper and Associates. With the help of the search firm, the position was advertised, thirty-six applications reviewed, candidates screened, and lengthy interviews conducted. With the naming of the finalist, the Board must now wait at least fourteen days before taking an official vote to employ Mr. Garland.

Mr. Garland is a graduate of Mars Hill College with a B. S. Degree in mathematics. He also has a Masters Degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University, and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University. In addition, he completed the Aspiring Superintendents Fellows Program at Wake Forest University and the Next Generation Superintendent Development Program of the North Carolina School Superintendent’s Association.

He began his educational career as a math teacher at Nantahala School before serving fifteen years as a teacher and coach at Hiwassee Dam High School in Murphy, North Carolina. Mr. Garland became principal of the school from 2004-2010. During that time, Hiwassee Dam was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best High Schools for three consecutive years. From 2011-2014 the finalist was associate superintendent in Cherokee County and in July 1, 2014 he was appointed superintendent of Whiteville, North Carolina City Schools.

Mr. Garland developed and executed a district-wide strategic plan for the Whiteville City Schools that led to the largest percentage gain in overall student proficiency as compared to all 115 North Carolina school districts (2016-2017 data). For the 2017-2018 school year, the system graduation rate was a best ever 91.3 %. In addition, in 2017-2018 on college and career readiness, all subgroups ranked in the top quartile of North Carolina school districts. The Jasper County Board of Education was also impressed with Mr. Garland’s knowledge in finance, budgeting, personnel, and student services.

Mr. Garland has been married to his wife, Carmen, for 20 years and has two sons ages 19 and 16. The family are members of Ranger Baptist Church and enjoys family time, outdoor activities, travel, and attending sporting events. The Board must now wait fourteen days before taking the formal vote. If approved by the Board of Education, Mr. Garland will officially begin work July 1, 2019.

Bill Schilling, Chair of the Board of Education, stated “We are delighted to have someone of Mr. Garland’s experience and ability to be our next superintendent. He is committed to Jasper County, has a record of successful leadership and will also bring new ideas to our school system. We have had a very deliberate and thorough search process and I appreciate how well the Board has worked together through the search process”.