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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Lenker receives leadership award

WED. | 4-26-23 | NEWS

      Dr. Ethan Lenker recently received the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) 2023 Sarbaugh Leadership Award. Lenker has been the Pitt County Schools (PCS) superintendent for nine and half years. 

     Lenker was inspired by his father to pursue a career in education. Ever since he was a kid, he has always had a love and passion for this field. 

     “My dad was a school teacher so I guess that was the biggest influence and he actually ended up becoming a school superintendent later in life,” Lenker said. “When I was growing up, we would always play ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ and I was always Mr. Kotter, the teacher.”

     Lenker began his education career as a teacher and worked his way up to his current position as superintendent. 

     “Back in the good old days, I was a calculus and physics teacher and then I became an assistant principal and principal,” Lenker said. “I then moved my way up and became  


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superintendent in Jones County and Sampson County, and then nine and a half years ago, I was lucky enough to get this job.” 

     As the superintendent of PCS, Lenker is in charge of overseeing everything related to the school system. 

     “Basically, I direct and lead to some level of every little thing going, whether that be the instructional programs, the Human Resources Department or the Finance Department,” Lenker said. “We have to make sure everyone is following school board policies and ultimately doing what we think is best for students and their futures.”

     The NSASA Sarbaugh Leadership Award is given to people who show outstanding leadership in public school service as well as a commitment to enhancing and supporting fellow school administrators. 

      Some of Lenker’s friends and co-workers noticed his great leadership and dedication to his job and nominated him for the award. 

     “A superintendent colleague of mine wrote an application for me,” Lenker said. “I had no clue I was getting the award until they called me and were like ‘you’re coming to this meeting right’ and I said ‘no probably not’ and they said ‘you better come to this meeting’ so that’s when I kind of found out.”

     Lenker feels very grateful to receive this award and it means a lot to him to be recognized in this way. 

     “You do these jobs for a long time and you don’t do them for anything other than to hopefully make schools better,” Lenker said. “The fact that the people I work with and other professionals in education have recognized the work I have done is pretty humbling and it means a lot.” 

     Lenker attributes his success to all of the people he works with and feels that they are the reason he won this award. 

     “To truly win this award, you have to have a great team around you and I am lucky to have a great school board that I work with all the time and all the principles and teachers are just great quality individuals,” Lenker said. “If it wasn’t for all the great work that they do, no one would recognize anything I do.”

     Lenker loves his job at PCS and is excited for what the future holds for him. 

     “I truly feel lucky to be able to come to work everyday and I feel blessed to be able to work here in Pitt County,” Lenker said. 

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