Cleveland County Schools Superintendent to Take on New Role at Gardner-Webb University

Print Friendly

GWU School of Education Announces Dr. Bruce Boyles Will Teach in the Master’s and Doctoral Programs

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – A man with both a heart for his hometown community and a desire to help future school administrators will transition to the next phase of his successful career with a faculty position at the Gardner-Webb University Graduate School of Education beginning in August of this year, university officials announced Jan. 31.

Dr. Bruce Boyles of Kings Mountain, N.C. has served as the superintendent for Cleveland County Schools since January 2007 and recently revealed his retirement plans, effective June 30 of this year.  But while he lays down his role as the county’s top school administrator, Boyles will begin a new journey as associate professor of education for Gardner-Webb, an opportunity that will allow him to expand upon his two years of experience as an adjunct professor for the University.

“Gardner-Webb is really emerging as the leader in preparing school administrators right now,” Boyles explained.  “When you talk to other school administrators from across the state—and even people from other colleges and universities—there is a realization that Gardner-Webb is doing some things right.  There’s been tremendous growth over the last few years.  To become a part of that was a very, very interesting opportunity for me.”

After attending Mars Hill College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music, Boyles taught high school band in Mooresville, N.C.  He became acquainted with Dr. Doug Eury (current dean of the School of Education at GWU) when the two were in grad school at the same time at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Boyles transitioned to UNC-Greensboro where he successfully completed his doctoral work.

“Dr. Boyles’ experience and background will help our students glean his high-quality organizational skills,” Eury offered.  “We know he brings to the table a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of experience, and an unrivaled personal work ethic.  There’s a need for that quality so that we are providing the service that is most beneficial to our students.  I think there’s a great match between Dr. Boyles’ experience and his ability to address the needs of future educators and administrators.”

GWU Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Ben Leslie agrees.  “Dr. Boyles brings an exceptional level of expertise to the table that will provide an especially helpful resource to our graduate students preparing for careers in curriculum management or administration,” Leslie said. “He joins a faculty composed of both accomplished scholars and seasoned, well-credentialed professionals who have practical experience in the world of public education. His years of experience as an educator, particularly as superintendent of the Cleveland County School district, will be enormously beneficial to our students. Because he knows North Carolina public education from the inside out, our students will be better equipped to carry out their critical role of educating our young people.”

While in Mooresville, Boyles served as a teacher, central office administrator, principal, director of human resources, assistant superintendent for instruction, and over six years as superintendent.  “When the superintendent position became available in Cleveland County, several friends contacted me and told me it was a great opportunity for me to come home and they felt it would be good for our county.  It’s been a great experience.  It really has,” he said.

After more than seven years at the helm, Boyles made the difficult decision to retire.  However, he counts among his successes in Cleveland County a tremendous increase in the graduation rate, the designation of several national blue-ribbon schools, and the completion of new construction projects (including the brand new Shelby Middle School and the conversion of the former middle school building into central administrative office space). “It’s a great system.  At the end of seven years, I hope I’ve done what I can to make it better,” he shared.  “But it has been a team effort; we’ve had a lot of people working on those things.”

Boyles believes there is a need within schools of education for practitioners who can share their experiences and help prepare people for the real world.  “I hear from students in the graduate courses that I’ve taught that really want the practical knowledge,” he reflected.  “I think that’s important.  As we evolve through our professional careers, perhaps we can learn from other people’s successes or mistakes and do a better job.  I’m so thrilled about joining this fine institution and seeing how I can fit in with the great things that are going on here.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.