The North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA) has announced the selection of Dr. Tanya Turner, Superintendent of Perquimans County Schools, as the recipient of the Dr. Dwayne Stallings Leadership Award. The award is presented in honor and recognition of a superintendent who has demonstrated a strong dedication to public education, commitment to academic excellence, and a continual focus on professional growth and student learning.
This award is presented to a superintendent serving a school district in northeast North Carolina who is a member of the Northeast Regional Education Service Alliance (NERESA). NERESA is a professional alliance that supports and enhances educational services and resources for the member districts. These include facilitating professional development opportunities and promoting communication between the districts and state agencies, professional organizations, elected officials, and educational leaders.
The award is named in honor of Dr. Dwayne Stallings who was serving as the Executive Director of the NERESA at the time of his death on August 9, 2020 at the age of 63. Dr. Stallings began his career in education teaching in the Chowan, Gates, and Pasquotank school districts. He later served in the Perquimans County School System as the Assistant Principal of the High School, Principal of Central Elementary School in Winfall, Principal of the High School, Assistant Superintendent, and lastly as Superintendent. Dr. Stallings also served as an Adjunct Professor at ECU after retirement.
As an educational leader, Dr. Stallings served as a head coach or assistant coach in three different school districts. He served on the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors and in 2015 he received the Bob McRae Superintendent of the Year award, named for Bob McRae, a former school superintendent in Randolph County and former president of the NCHSAA. Dr. Stallings was named the NERESA Superintendent of the Year in 2013 and a nominee for the A. Craig Phillips Superintendent of the Year award.
I am humbled to receive this award given in honor of Dr. Stallings. Dr. Stallings was respected and admired by everyone. He always encouraged me throughout my career to go to the next level and to pursue becoming a superintendent. His leadership serves a model for me and for others to follow,” said Dr. Turner.
In selecting the award winner, the following criteria were considered:
- Dedication to public educational leadership resulting in innovative programs for student success.
- Commitment to academic excellence through collaboration with local and state educational leaders.
- Continual focus on professional growth through personal learning and providing continuous learning opportunities for school district leaders.
Commenting on Dr. Turner, NCSSA Executive Director Jack Hoke said, Dr. Turner exemplifies the traits that guided Dr. Dwayne Stallings career in educational leadership. She has demonstrated a strong dedication to public education, commitment to academic excellence, and a continual focus on professional growth and student learning for the Perquimans County Schools. She is very deserving of the leadership award honoring Dr. Stallings.
Dr. Turner was named Superintendent of Perquimans County Schools in May, 2019. Prior to that, she served 18 years in the Edenton-Chowan School System as an Assistant Superintendent, Principal, Assistant Principal and Director of Teacher Development and Testing. She earned her Doctor of Educational Leadership from Wingate University, a Masters in Supervision and Administration from East Carolina University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Methodist University and she is a graduate of Perquimans County High School.
Throughout her career, Dr. Turner has often been recognized for her achievements and leadership. She has presented at the SAS Institute multiple years on EVAAS data to improve school and district performance. Her EVAAS presentations have been recognized at the state level and published on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s regional website as well as the NC STAR website. Her knowledge and leadership in data driven instruction has afforded her the opportunity conduct numerous EVAAS trainings across the state for numerous school districts. Additionally, her awards and accolades include: Perquimans Chamber of Commerce Woman Champion of 2021, Perquimans Weekly Person of the Year for 2021, recognition for successful completion of the National Board for Principal Standards (2014), Middle Level Administrator to Watch for the North Carolina Eastern Region (2013), Principal of the Year for Edenton-Chowan Schools (2007-2008, 2011-2012), President of the North Carolina Middle School Association (2010-2011). As principal, her school was named a PBIS exemplar school from 2010-2015 and a North Carolina School to Watch (2010, 2013). She has been named the Principal of the Year for Region 1 Middle School Association (2008), Administrator of the Year for Edenton-Chowan Schools as Assistant Principal (2003-2004), Teacher of the Year for Perquimans County Schools (1995), Teacher of the Year for Perquimans Central School (1995), and Math Teacher of the Year for Perquimans County Schools (1996).
Congratulations to Dr. Turner on this well-deserved recognition!