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New Hanover County Schools superintendent named best in the Southeast region

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Charles Foust was named the best in the Southeast region and will now go on to compete at the state level against the best superintendents in the state.

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Charles Foust has been named the 2024-25 Southeast Regional Superintendent of the Year.

Foust was chosen for this honor by his peers, who include superintendents from 12 school districts in North Carolina’s Southeast region.

“I am humbled by this honor and I have so much gratitude to my fellow superintendents throughout our region for their support,” Foust said in a press release. “As leaders we try to illuminate the path to excellence and empower teachers and students, but we don’t do this work alone. This recognition is a testament to the collective dedication of our entire educational community.”

Foust has served New Hanover County Schools since September 2020 and has worked in education for more than 25 years.


He has led efforts to increase academic achievement and school performance throughout the district, expand CTE pathways and other academic opportunities for students, and strengthen business and community partnerships, according to the press release.

Here’s a look at some highlights from Foust’s tenure, according to the release.

  • Led New Hanover County Schools to number 15 out of 115 districts in the state.
  • Facilitated funding from the General Assembly for $3.2 million to participate in a school safety pilot program, $210,000 for tutoring, $2.8 million for Wilmington Chamber of Commerce to expand the Career Leadership Development Academy for seventh graders throughout the district.
  • Seven New Hanover County Schools ranked in the U.S. News and World Report top 100 in North Carolina.
  • Bellamy Elementary named a National Blue Ribbon School.
  • Ninety percent of New Hanover County Schools met or exceeded growth in 2023.
  • Fourteen schools increased a letter grade.
  • Formed the Turnaround Task Force with community and business stakeholders to improve low-performing schools.
  • Five schools came off the low-performing list.
  • Expanded academic and CTE Pathway partnerships with Cape Fear Community College and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction First-Ever Champion of Change for extraordinary and comprehensive efforts to improve student literacy.
  • New Hanover County Schools named a “Promising Practice” district by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
  • YMCA Impact Award for Partner of the Year.

Foust will now represent the Southeast Region in the state-level competition against seven other regions to compete for the A. Craig Phillips State Superintendent of the Year Award.

Foust is not the only one from New Hanover County Schools receiving high honors. received the honor of Southeast Regional Principal of the Year.