Blue Ridge Community College announced today the appointment of Dr. David Stegall as chief of staff. The experienced administrator was selected following a national search and will join Blue Ridge effective June 1. As chief of staff, Dr. Stegall will serve in a strategic leadership role alongside Blue Ridge’s President, Dr. Laura Leatherwood, to advance the College’s mission, vision and goals.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Stegall to the Blue Ridge family, and we are confident that his expertise will enhance every aspect of executing Blue Ridge’s mission to empower individuals and to build a strong workforce in Henderson and Transylvania counties,” said Dr. Leatherwood. “His wealth of experience as a leader in education will create new opportunities and drive results for the communities we serve.”
With 26 years of experience in public and private education, Stegall currently serves as the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) deputy superintendent of innovation and chief academic officer. Since 2019, he has overseen agency divisions that serve over 1.6 million students, 115 school districts, and over 200 state residential and charter schools.
“Blue Ridge Community College is a shining example of providing programs, pathways, and degrees for high-growth careers, while also providing support and guidance to students to help them achieve their goals,” said Dr. Stegall. “I am honored to support Dr. Leatherwood’s leadership and serve the amazing staff, students and stakeholders of this wonderful institution.”
In 2020, NC Governor Roy Cooper named Stegall co-chair of the statewide COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Response Task Force, which led to the development of the statewide school re-opening guidebook and support documents for K-12 public schools. In 2021, his pandemic response efforts earned him the Champion for Children Award from the North Carolina Association for School Administrators.
Prior to his work with NCDPI, Dr. Stegall served abroad as vice president for the international education company Global Education Management Systems (GEMS Education) in regions of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. GEMS Education is the world’s largest operator of K-12 schools, serving over 180,000 students internationally.
Dr. Stegall also served as superintendent of Newton-Conover City Schools for more than five years. Under his leadership, the district ranked among North Carolina’s top five for graduation rates for five consecutive years, and it was one of only three with graduation rates over 95%. Stegall was named the Northwest North Carolina Superintendent of the Year in 2017, and he received the North Carolina Making IT Happen award for his technology initiatives in 2020.
“As an integral partner in our region’s workforce development system and a high-achieving institution, Blue Ridge is attracting some of our state’s top talent,” added Dr. Leatherwood. “Dr. Stegall joins our motivated team of over 200 staff and faculty who serve more than 10,000 students annually and improve the experience of every local citizen. The future is bright here at Blue Ridge Community College.”