School Board Selects Janet Mason as
Next Superintendent of Rutherford County Schools
At a special meeting on Tuesday, February 16, the Rutherford County Schools Board of Education voted 7-0 to offer the position of Superintendent of Rutherford County Schools to Mrs. Janet Mason. Board Chairman Dr. John Mark Bennett announced that Mason has accepted the position, subject to agreement of final contract details. Each board member in turn voiced their support of this selection.
“Mrs. Mason comes to us with an impressive background in terms of her extensive experience, achievement and dedication. Her contributions have assisted in increasing the levels of academic progress, achievement and success for all students. We are delighted to attract such a high-caliber superintendent to Rutherford County Schools and especially proud that this person is a product of our very own school system, both in her own education and in her work experiences,” said Chairman Bennett. “Mrs. Mason’s strengths, integrity, and leadership skills have been clearly demonstrated in her previous positions, and our appreciation for her skills as an educator, a leader, and as a person has only deepened during our close work with her as Assistant Superintendent over the past two and half years.
Indeed, she has served with distinction throughout her lifelong career with Rutherford County Schools. She knows our school system from the inside out. She has the heart of a teacher, the wisdom of a seasoned administrator, and the vision of a true leader. Few rival her work ethic and even fewer show a comparable passion for Rutherford County Schools and Rutherford County students. Mrs. Mason’s passion for the well-being and academic achievement of all children is apparent in all her actions. Her broad range of educational experiences will serve her well in guiding the day-to-day operations of Rutherford County Schools and will complement the strengths of teachers and staff throughout the district.”
After graduating from Appalachian State University, Mrs. Mason began her career in the Rutherford County Schools in 1986 as a math teacher at Chase High School for one year before teaching at East Rutherford High School for over fifteen years. She was later promoted to Assistant Principal at Chase Middle School and then to Director of Middle and High School Curriculum for the district. As Director of Middle and High School Curriculum, Mrs. Mason served as team project leader in the development of the planning and implementation grants for the Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH). Mrs. Mason also served as Principal of East Rutherford High School for over two years prior to her current role as Assistant Superintendent, responsible for all areas of Curriculum and Instruction, and Human Resources. Mason has continued her own education throughout her career, attaining a Master of Education degree in 1988, and an Education Specialist degree in 2001, both from Converse College. Mrs. Mason will graduate from the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at Western Carolina University in May 2010.
"I am humbled by and very grateful for the board's confidence in me to serve as Superintendent of the Rutherford County Schools," said Superintendent-Elect Mason. "Our schools have made great progress, but there are many challenges ahead for our school system as we confront the critical need to increase academic rigor and support for all students in the face of tremendous economic hurdles. We must continue to work with our parents, our community, and other stakeholders to provide every student with the quality education they deserve and need to succeed in an economy that will require them to be lifelong learners. Even though difficult economic times will make this more challenging than ever, we must find ways to move forward in doing what is right for our students. We must continually examine our practices and align them to our priorities. I am committed to finding ways to provide the necessary technology tools and resources for our students and teachers in order for technology to be integrated seamlessly throughout every area of the curriculum. We do many things well in our schools, but it is imperative that we continue to improve the educational outcomes for many of our students who are not performing to their potential. I am committed to working together with our parents, teachers, school leaders, staff, the community, and the school board to accomplish the goals of our system.”
In December 2009, the Rutherford County Schools Board launched a search to replace current Superintendent Dr. John Kinlaw, who announced his retirement effective June 30, 2010. During January the board extensively collected input from staff, families, and community members regarding desired qualities and experiences that are needed in the next Superintendent of Rutherford County Schools. This input was mindfully integrated into the selection process.
Chairman Bennett applauded the accomplishments of Superintendent Kinlaw, particularly in the areas of increased academic performance and improved graduation rates, as well as technology enhancements, cost savings, and fiscal management. “We are grateful for all that Dr. Kinlaw brought to our county, and we look forward to a continued period of improvement under Mrs. Mason’s leadership.”
Mrs. Mason is a member of the Forest City Kiwanis and is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Rutherford. She has previously served on the board of directors for Leadership Rutherford. Mrs. Mason lives in Forest City with her husband, Rick, and daughter, Meredith. She is the daughter of James and Beth Harmon of Forest City.