Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Dr. Mason Receives Membership To The Order Of The Long Leaf Pine.
Posted on 06/06/2018
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Membership to the Order is the Highest Honor Given by the Governor of North Carolina


FOREST CITY, NC – At the conclusion of the Rutherford County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 5, Chairman Carolyn Keever and the members of the Board presented Superintendent Dr. Janet H. Mason with a most prestigious honor. In recognition of her exemplary service to the state of North Carolina as an educator, administrator, and advocate for public education, Mason has been conferred the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

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Board of Education Chairman Carolyn Keever presented Superintendent Dr. Janet H. Mason with the prestigious distinction of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Created in 1963, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented in North Carolina. The award is presented by the Governor to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and years of dedicated service to their organizations are among the guidelines under which recipients are selected for the award.


Notable North Carolinians who have received this honor include:


Maya Angelou

William C. Friday

Billy Graham

Andy Griffith

Michael Jordan

Charles Kuralt

Richard Petty

Bob Timberlake

Dean Smith


Under Mason’s leadership, Rutherford County Schools (RCSNC) transitioned to a one-to-one digital learning environment in which all students from kindergarten through twelfth grade have a laptop or mobile computing device for daily use. District performance on key state and federal indicators has consistently improved during Mason’s tenure as superintendent. In 2016-17, RCSNC celebrated its highest ever recorded cohort graduation rate and outpaced the state of North Carolina by earning School Performance Grades of “A” or “B” at 1.6 times the statewide rate.


The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the most recent in a series of recognitions Mason has earned this school year. In Fall 2017, she was named the 2018-19 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year. She also awarded the 2017 Friday Medal, which recognized superintendents who exemplify commitment to innovative education practices.


During her remarks, Chairman Keever noted, “Our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Mason who continues to be recognized for her outstanding leadership, her love for children, and her passion for education. Rutherford County has long known and appreciated Dr. Mason’s commitment to providing and growing the educational system which provides opportunities for every child. We are most grateful that Dr. Mason chose to and continues to serve our community.”


Of the award, Mason said, “I’m overwhelmed, to say the least… I am so honored.” She further remarked, “It’s an honor to serve as the Superintendent of Rutherford County Schools. I don’t want to be anywhere else. We have good work that we’ve done here… But we have good work left to do… I am very confident in our team and very appreciative of the
 of everyone here.”

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View video of the announcement here.

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