School board names superintendent

By Mary Katherine Murphy

April 21, 2014

LAURINBURG — In a specially-called meeting on Monday, the Scotland County Board of Education named the man who will take the reins of the county schools beginning June 1.

Ronald Hargrave, a Lexington native, comes to the Scotland County superintendent’s seat from the position of deputy superintendent of operations for the Iredell-Statesville Schools, which he has held since 2009.

“I just want to give a shout-out to this board that worked together so well in confidentiality, and I want to say that it was a unanimous decision,” said school board chairman Charles Brown.

Hargrave was one of more than 20 applicants to express interest in becoming Scotland County Schools superintendent after Rick Stout announced last year that he would be leaving the position to head Onslow County Schools.

Since Stout’s departure in February, Randy Bridges has served as interim superintendent.

Hargrave will serve as interim superintendent beginning in June, with a four-year contract beginning on July 1.

“I see a lot of potential here and I want to be a part of awakening that potential and helping students be successful,” said Hargrave, in attendance at Monday’s meeting with his wife Lolita, who works as an elementary school assistant principal.

“I think collectively, all of us working together, we can make that happen.”

Hargave attended Gardner-Webb University on a basketball scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. He also obtained master’s and doctoral degrees in school administration from that institution. He has also worked in the Alexander County Schools as a middle school principal and assistant principal.

He served in the United States Army Reserves, attaining the rank of first sergeant, from 1985 to 1993.

Hargrave’s appointment to the superintendent’s position in Scotland County is the realization of a dream that he has held since third grade and which spurred him to choose education as a career.

“My third grade teacher, Mrs. Lillian Morgan, helped me to realize that I could do anything that I wanted to if I set my mind to it,” he said.

“Those words from my third grade teacher just gave me that spark and let me know that I can achieve anything. That’s what I want for every child — I truly believe that every child is one adult away from finding success.”

Having been familiarized with the county schools and their locations during the interview process, Hargrave said he will begin touring the schools in earnest this week. He plans to move to Scotland County before his contract begins.

Hargrave’s annual salary will be $160,000. Of that, $120,804 will be paid from state funds.

According to the Black Mountain News, Hargrave was one of three finalists for the position of superintendent for Asheville City Schools. Pamela Baldwin, Scotland County Schools’ assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is also a finalist for that position.

The head of that system is expected to be named this week.

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.