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Rockingham County Schools hires new superintendent to take office in July

The school system made the announcement Tuesday. John Stover III will take the seat of superintendent for Rockingham County Schools on July 1.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Rockingham County Schools will get a new superintendent in July this year.

The school system made the announcement Tuesday. John Stover III will take the seat of superintendent for Rockingham County Schools July 1.

The current superintendent, Dr. Rodney Shotwell's contract expires next month.

In December 2020, the Rockingham County school board voted to fire Shotwell. He responded with a lawsuit. A state court ruled he could keep his job, but now his contract is coming to an end. The case is now before a federal court.

Shotwell served as Rockingham County's Superintendent for 16 years.

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"It's just a lot of wonderful emotions that I'm feeling, you know, regardless of how this came about, you have to look back at the positive," Shotwell said. "I still say that 99% of my time here in Rockingham County has been absolutely wonderful, it's just one percent that just didn't quite go the way that we needed it to go."

Shotwell said as far as the next steps, he wants to take some time for himself but said he has some career opportunities.

For Stover, he said he is happy to be back in North Carolina and is ready to hit the ground running in his new role.

"This is my 32nd year in education and I was in DC, I've burnished my resume, I want to be at a place where I feel connected and happy and where I can make a difference and take all that I've learned and see if we can put it in settings in a rural county," Stover said.

School officials said the board carefully reviewed applications from a diverse field of seventeen excellent candidates from eleven different states and territories.

“Although many qualified candidates applied, the board felt Stover’s experience, leadership, and dedication to students and staff would best serve RCS students, employees, and the community for years to come,” read a statement from a news release. “The board is confident he will lead the school system to even higher achievement.”

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Officials said Stover has over 30 years of experience working in public education in North Carolina and other settings across the nation.

He is currently the instructional superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools, where he’s also worked as chief of secondary schools.

Stover received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned his master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University, and is pursuing a doctorate in leadership and organizational innovation from Marymount University.

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