W. Jeffrey Booker, Ed.D., Superintendent of SchoolsSouthwest Region Superintendent of the Year, 2016-2017The Gaston County Board of Education unanimously appointed W. Jeffrey Booker to serve as Superintendent of Gaston County Schools effective January 1, 2014.As Superintendent of Schools, Booker is responsible for the overall operation of the school system, which includes 56 schools, approximately 29,000 students and more than 3,800 full- and part-time employees. He works directly with the Board of Education to implement Board policies and directives.A dynamic educational leader with a vision to move Gaston County Schools forward, Booker joined the school system in 2009. As the Deputy Superintendent of Operations, he served in an executive leadership role and was the senior administrator for business/finance, technology, facilities and maintenance, bus transportation, and school nutrition.During his time as Superintendent of Schools, Booker has focused on ways to improve student achievement, provide more technology for the classroom, support employees through professional development, increase communication with parents and the community, and enhance school safety. In 2018, the district celebrated its 50th anniversary, and voters approved a $250 million school bond referendum. Further, he has provided excellent leadership for the district during the COVID-19 pandemic.A graduate of the University of Virginia’s prestigious McIntire School of Commerce, Booker has a concentration in finance and additional coursework in management and leadership. He obtained a master's degree and a doctorate degree in education from Gardner-Webb University, holds a North Carolina real estate license, and is a certified cash manager. In 2015, he was one of 21 superintendents in the state to complete the prestigious North Carolina Next Generation Development Program, which provides professional leadership opportunities for school superintendents. He also is a graduate of the Superintendent's Executive Leadership Program.
In June 2016, Booker was named the Southwest Region Superintendent of the Year for 2016-2017. The school superintendents in the Southwest Region, which includes nine counties across the greater Charlotte area, selected Booker for the prestigious honor. Click here to read more about the Regional Superintendent of the Year recognition.Prior to joining Gaston County Schools, Booker served as assistant vice president of Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte from 2005-2009 and principal of LWA Associates in Cramerton for nine years. LWA Associates is a professional firm that specializes in management of educational facilities.
LWA was a consultant for the $2.5 billion Higher Education Bond program passed by N.C. voters. During that same period, LWA also served GCS in developing the 2001 $89 million bond package. In addition, the firm was program manager for the design and construction of the GCS nine classroom additions provided by the 2001 bond package.
Booker played a major leadership role with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) from 1994 until 2000. During that time, he served as CMS assistant superintendent of building services for three years (1997-2000), was executive director of facilities, 1995-1997, and directed finance and program management for one year.
One of his most significant accomplishments during his tenure at CMS was the development and passage of a $417 million bond program that included 10 new schools and 46 renovation projects. Booker was responsible for overseeing bond financed capital expenditures that exceeded $400 million and the development of capital projects from initial formulation through facility dedication. He was honored with the American School and University magazine’s prestigious Innovative and Efficient Design Award for his creative work in the construction of a North Carolina high school in 1996.Booker has an extensive background in finance and retirement investments. He was manager of debt compliance and pension investments for Collins & Aikman Group in Charlotte from 1992-1994, and he has also worked for McDevitt Street Bovis and First Union National Bank.Active in numerous professional and community groups, he is a member of the following organizations:
- North Carolina Association of School Administrators
- Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development
- North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association
- North Carolina Cash Management Association
- Gaston County Economic Development Commission
- Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Gaston Together
Further, Booker is a member of the N.C. School Superintendents Association executive committee and serves as the Superintendent Liaison for the North Carolina School Public Relations Association. He previously served as chairperson of the Southwest Region Education Alliance.
In 2013, Booker received the Gaston County Police Award for outstanding work on communications and school safety. He also served as the annual fundraising chairperson for the United Way of Gaston County and received the prestigious Winget Award for his leadership and service to the United Way. As a result of his work with the Gaston Regional Chamber to strengthen school and business partnerships, the school district received the Chamber's coveted Spirit of the Economy Award, which is presented to a business, agency or organization that has significant economic influence on the greater Gaston region.
A college and high school baseball standout, Booker was All-Atlantic Coast Conference. He was inducted into the Ferrum College (Virginia) Sports Hall of Fame in October 2013.
Booker lives in Gastonia and is married to Rhonda Collins Booker. They have three children: a daughter, who is a graduate of Appalachian State University, and two sons -- one who attends North Carolina State University and one who is a graduate of the University of Virginia. An active church member, he attends Grace Covenant Church and serves as an Elder.