Greene honored as Sneeden Leadership Award winner

The North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA) has announced the selection of Aaron Greene, Superintendent of Polk County Schools, as the recipient of the Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award.

The Sneeden award is presented in honor and recognition of a superintendent who has demonstrated a strong commitment to lifelong learning, unwavering integrity in leadership and transformation of vision into action.

This annual award is presented to a graduate of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association’s Next Generation Superintendent Development Program (NGSDP), a program that is designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s public schools. Greene was selected by former Brad Sneeden Leadership Award recipients.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Brad Sneeden, who was serving as Carteret County Schools’ Superintendent at the time of his death in October 2008 at the age of 56. Among the innovative efforts he brought to this district was the establishment of the Marine Science Academy, later renamed as a memorial to him, which exposes students to hands-on marine science activities.

Previously, Dr. Sneeden served as the Associate Vice-President for Leadership Development and Director of the Principals’ Executive Program, the Deputy State Superintendent for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education, an adjunct professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Director of the Office of School Services at East Carolina University, and as the Craven County Schools’ Superintendent. Dr. Sneeden led with innovation and vision in preparing administrators for visionary leadership while never wavering from ethics of the highest order.

“I am honored to receive the Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award,” Greene said. “This award has been given to amazing superintendents, and I am humbled to be mentioned alongside them and Dr. Sneeden. His legacy of dedicated service is one to which I aspire, and I am thankful to the NCSSA, Mr. Jack Hoke, and all my colleagues across North Carolina for their support and service.

“Being able to learn with and from the outstanding leaders during the Next Generation program has certainly made me a better leader for my district and community. I must give a great deal of credit and thanks to my Polk Schools family and Board of Education for their support and for the work they do on behalf of our students and families in Polk County. I am very fortunate to be a small part of the amazing collective we call Polk County Schools.

“Finally, given the amount of time and energy spent on the job, I want to thank my wife, Mary, and son, Grayson, for their sacrifices and support over the years.”

“The Polk County Board of Education congratulates Mr. Aaron Greene as the recipient of the NCSSA’s 2023 Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award,” said Mike Ashworth, Polk County Board of Education chairman. “Mr. Greene has certainly exemplified that he continues to be a lifetime learner, and his integrity in leadership has led to loyal employees of our schools that our students continue to thrive from. Mr. Greene’s leadership and vision have also allowed Polk County Schools to continue to rank as one of the top school districts in the state year in and year out.

“The Polk County Board of Education is very proud of Mr. Greene for this accomplishment, and it comes as no surprise to us or the members of our community that he has earned it.”

In selecting the award winner, the following criteria were considered:

  • Demonstrates vision and the ability to translate vision into specific goals. The recipient should be a person whose leadership has resulted in his or her district developing and/or implementing innovative programs and projects to benefit students.
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to life-long learning, focusing on the continuous improvement of his or her leadership skills.
  • Demonstrate evidence of setting and achieving high standards of ethical conduct within his or her organization.

“Mr. Greene exemplifies the traits that guided Dr. Brad Sneeden’s career in educational leadership,” said NCSSA Executive Director Jake Hoke. “He has demonstrated a vision for Polk County Schools as an educational innovator and a strong commitment to continuous improvement and the highest standards of ethical conduct. He is a very deserving recipient of this award.”

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