Ray Felton of the Gates County Board of Education is the 2020 recipient of the School Board Member Leadership Award. To receive this esteemed award, which is given by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board member must be peer-nominated by their local school board. Each year, the award honors a school board member for exemplary leadership during the previous school year.
Felton has been on his board of education for 12 years and is the current chair. “‘I’ll try’ is his motto — one that leads him to do whatever it takes to support students,” said NCSBA Immediate Past President Brenda Stephens during the awards ceremony at the virtual NCSBA Annual Conference for Board Member Development on November 6. Felton recently spearheaded several initiatives, including new technology programs to encourage an innovation mindset, and he took the lead in keeping the Gates County community updated on the district’s new middle school construction. He even put himself in students’ shoes this year by enrolling in classes to get a glimpse of what online learning looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic.