Board of Education welcomes Stephen C. Laws to Gaston County Schools
The Gaston County Board of Education is welcoming Stephen C. Laws, Ed.D., to Gaston County Schools. Laws will serve in the role of interim superintendent while the Board of Education conducts a national search to hire a permanent superintendent.
Taking on the top leadership position is a sort of homecoming for Laws. He is a Gastonia native and graduate of Ashbrook High School who began his education career in 1981 as a workforce development teacher at Bessemer City High School.
“I am looking forward to my time as interim superintendent, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve a school system that prepared me for success in life and also gave me my first opportunity to work full-time in education,” said Dr. Laws. “Gaston County has always been home to me, and stepping in to serve my community while the Board of Education seeks a new superintendent is the right thing for me to do.”
Dr. Laws continued, “I am committed to supporting the Board of Education during the superintendent search process, and I am excited about meeting and engaging with our employees, students, and parents as we begin a new school year in August.”
Laws, who lives in Gastonia, served as an associate professor of education at Gardner-Webb University prior to accepting the interim superintendent position. After 17 years in Gaston County Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and central level administrator, Laws became the superintendent of Elkin City Schools in 1998. From 2003 until 2011, he served as superintendent of Wilkes County Schools, and after retiring, he began his work at Gardner-Webb.
Laws graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in business and Winthrop College with a master’s degree in teaching/secondary education. Additionally, Laws obtained an education specialist degree in educational leadership from Winthrop College and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University.
Following his time as a classroom teacher, Laws worked as an assistant principal at Bessemer City High School and York Chester Junior High School. He served as the principal of Cramerton Junior High School, Southwest Junior High School, and North Gaston High School and also worked in the school system’s human resources department as the personnel administrator and later as the executive director for human resources before going to Elkin City Schools.
Laws’ appointment to serve as interim superintendent was approved by the Board of Education in May. His monthly salary is $19,700, and he has committed to a six-month term as interim superintendent, thus giving the Board time to conduct the superintendent search process.
The North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) is working with the Board of Education to facilitate a national search for Gaston County Schools’ next superintendent. The search process involves advertising the position, reviewing applications, arranging interviews, and eventually selecting a candidate for the superintendent job. It also includes receiving feedback from stakeholders.
The Superintendent Search Survey is available now until July 17 on the Gaston County Schools website homepage (www.gaston.k12.nc.us). Parents, employees, business/civic leaders, and others in the community are encouraged to complete the survey to give input about what they would like to see in the person who is selected to be the new superintendent. It includes questions about the characteristics, experience, knowledge, and skills that the person chosen to lead the school system should possess.
Laws is taking over the superintendency from W. Jeffrey Booker, Ed.D., who informed the Board of Education in April of his intention to complete his service to Gaston County Schools at the end of the school year and pursue a new career opportunity. Gaston College has announced that Booker is the college’s new Chief Operating Officer as of July 1.