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Dr. Mark Poarch Wins NC Community College President of the Year Award

Published: 2/01/2023

Caldwell County native Dr. Mark Poarch was recently announced as winner of the prestigious 2022-2023 North Carolina Community College System President of the Year award.

The President of the Year Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo, was established by the State Board of Community Colleges in 2001. The award encourages, identifies and rewards outstanding leadership and commitment to the community college mission among the presidents of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by this award,” Poarch said. “There are 58 community colleges with great leaders doing amazing work to serve students and communities across North Carolina. This award is a reflection of the great work happening in Caldwell and Watauga counties through strong collaboration with many community partners. Our faculty and staff, Board of Trustees, elected officials, public school and university partners, business and industry representatives, economic and workforce development partners, donors, and many others are all working together to make life better for the students and communities we have the privilege of serving.”

A native of Caldwell County, with more than 30 years of community college experience, Poarch has served as president of CCC&TI since 2016. Prior to his appointment as president, he served as Associate Vice President of Student Services, Vice President of Student Services and Executive Vice President at CCC&TI.

Poarch earned his Doctor of Education and Education Specialist degrees at Appalachian State University, and his Master of Arts in Education and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Western Carolina University. He is a graduate of West Caldwell High School.

Other statewide awards announced by the North Carolina Community College System and State Board of Community Colleges include: Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Kara Finch, Stanly Community College; Staff Person of the Year – Dr. Sara Newcomb, Central Carolina Community College; Two Distinguished Partners awards, CaroMont Health with Gaston Community College and Centro Unido Latino Americano (CULA) with McDowell Technical Community College and Isothermal Community College; and the I.E. Ready Award for significant statewide contribution to the North Carolina Community College System was awarded to Julian Philpott of Central Carolina Community College.

“Congratulations to our award winners across the state and I thank you for your tremendous effort and impact in making North Carolina community colleges successful,” said Dr. Bill Carver, Interim President of the North Carolina Community College System. “We had very strong nominations this year, which are indicative of the incredible work and success at our 58 community colleges.”