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Putnam named regional superintendent of the year

posted Nov 18, 2016, 6:36 AM by Cheryl Shuffler


Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam was recognized as the 2017 Northwest Regional Education Service Alliance (NWRESA) Superintendent of the Year in Greensboro on Thursday night. The recognition came at the North Carolina School Boards Association’s (NCSBA) annual conference. 

Burke County Board of Education Chair Randy Burns said, “When I think of Dr. Putnam, I'm always reminded of one of my favorite quotes, ‘Great leaders don't set out to be a leader. They set out to make a difference. It's never about the role, it's always about the goal’ (author unknown). Dr. Putnam is one of the most goal-oriented people I've have ever met. His constant desire to be better tomorrow than he was today is evident in all that he does. I have watched, often amazed, as Dr. Putnam's passion for innovation in education has unfolded over the past five years. It is said that successful leaders are those who have surrounded themselves with successful people. The board of education could not be more proud of Dr. Putnam, his staff and our students. This honor is well deserved.”

            In addition to Burke County Public Schools, NWRESA includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Catawba, Hickory, McDowell, Mitchell, Newton-Conover, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey school districts. Putnam said, “I am honored and humbled to be recognized as the Northwest RESA superintendent of the year and look forward to representing our region in the coming year. We have great leaders at the helm of the school districts in our region, and I am blessed to be a part of a great school system. Our passion is educating students and igniting in them a love for learning that will help ensure they have a bright future. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to do what I do.”

             Dr. Joe Sinclair, executive director of the NWRESA, said superintendents throughout the northwest region voiced their unanimous support for Putnam’s superintendent of the year candidacy at their May 2016 council meeting. Sinclair said Putnam’s positive communication skills, progressive staff development priorities and role as a mentor in the region and the Burke County Public Schools district make him a great candidate for superintendent of the year. Sinclair said, “Mr. Putnam is highly respected by his peers and is recognized in his school system and across North Carolina as a caring and effective school administrator who believes in the worth and dignity of each child.”

            Putnam has been superintendent of Burke County Public Schools since April 2012; prior to being named superintendent, he served as interim superintendent for seven months. Putnam has been in education for more than 20 years, and received his doctorate in education leadership from Appalachian State University on Wednesday. He has a master’s in school administration from Gardner-Webb University; an educational specialist degree from Appalachian State University; and a bachelor’s of science degree in business education and a business administration degree with a concentration in management from Appalachian State University. Putnam started his career in education as a teacher at Freedom High School, his alma mater, and he held principalships at Broughton Hospital’s Enola School, Draughn High School and W.A. Young and Chesterfield elementary schools. His past work experiences include employment with Drexel Heritage and the Department of Corrections. Putnam’s community involvement includes Burke County United Way, Community Child Protection and Child Fatality Prevention Team, Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Homeland Security Task Force, Sports Medicine Advisory Council-Carolinas Health Care-Blue Ridge, BDI Board of Directors, Morganton Rotary, a local affirmation group of community leaders and past board member of the Strategic Alliance for Burke Youth (SABY).