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Alumnus Edward R. Mason Named to NCHSAA 100 List

July 16, 2013 - Edward R. Mason, Sr. '62 recently was named to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) "100 To Remember Administrators' List." The NCHSAA marks its 100th year in 2013 and as part of its centennial celebration the NCHSAA will release a series of 100 To Remember. This series will include 100 male athletes to remember, 100 female athletes to remember, 100 coaches to remember, and the recently named 100 administrators to remember. And for those who know him, it came as no surprise that any list of 100 To Remember-Administrators would include Mr. E.R. Mason.

According to a description on the NCHSAA website, "The list of '100 To Remember Administrators' highlights one hundred of the top administrators in NCHSAA history, going back to the founding of the organization in 1913." In addition it was noted that, "Coming up with a list of '100 To Remember'was a tremendous challenge," said Davis Whitefield, commissioner of the NCHSAA. "So many individuals have participated, coached or been involved with the rich history and tradition of the first 100 years of the NCHSAA. This group of distinguished individuals not only served their schools, school systems and communities in an exceptional fashion, but our Association as well."

Of the honor, E.R. Mason stated, "I am very grateful to the selection committee for choosing me as one of the 100 To Remember: Administrators. And I'm very thankful to God that I've had the opportunity to work at schools that have had such great athletic programs."

Mr. Mason began his career in Education in 1962 after graduating from Shaw University. It was while at Shaw that Mason began to stand out as a leader. Mason was President of his Junior and Senior Classes, President of Shaw Players both his Junior and Senior years, Editor of the Shaw Journal, and Vice President of Student Government. In 1986, Mason would earn his Master's in Education from East Carolina University.

In 1966 Mason accepted a position at Clear Run High School in Garland, and in 1969 moved to Union High. Here he would begin a 20-year career, and life-long friendship, with his Principal, Amos Stroud. The very next year Stroud would accept a position at White Oak High School, and bring Mason with him. Stroud remarked, "For 20 years E.R. Mason was my right-hand man. I can't recall a single time in those 20 years when he and I didn't see eye-to-eye. In fact, when I was hired as the new Principal at White Oak, I told my new Superintendent that I already had my Assistant Principal…E.R. Mason." Stroud went on to say of Mason, "I've been a very lucky man throughout my life, but the luckiest thing I ever did was to hire E.R. Mason as a teacher, and then as my Assistant Principal. He and his family are just wonderful people, and I couldn't be happier about him being named in the NCHSAA 100 to Remember, and I couldn't be more proud."

Colonel Tommy Macon, President of the Sampson County Sports Club, said of Mason, "In my opinion, there is no better representative for education than Mr. E.R. Mason. You will not find a better patron for education who displays the commitment and dedication needed to embrace the development and education of our youth anywhere in the state." This was evident to Sampson County residents in 2008, when Mason was inducted into the Sampson County Sports Club Hall of Fame.

Que Tucker, Deputy Commissioner of the NCHSAA said of Mason, "Through the years, E.R. has served several schools in the Eastern part of NC. He distinguished himself in each setting as a knowledgeable, caring and understanding leader. He recognized the importance of working with the NCHSAA--the governing body of high school athletics in our state-- understanding its rules and regulations as well as helping to promote its mission. His willingness to serve led to his 4-year term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors. E.R. Mason, truly one to remember!"

E.R. Mason currently serves as Chairperson of the Clinton City Schools'Board of Education. He and his wife Clementine live in Clinton and have 4 sons; David, Edward Jr., Lawrence, and Willard. Mason is a member of First Baptist Church of Clinton, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Deacons and Superintendent of Sunday School. Mason has been recognized for his 41 years of service to North Carolina Schools, for his faithful service to his church, and for his unconditional dedication and service to his community. On May 4th of this year, E. R. Mason was honored by the Clinton Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for Exemplary Service and Commitment to Community Service.

Mason says that he truly appreciated his 27 years at White Oak, but his voice cracked just slightly when remembering his 6 years at Clinton High School. "I have always been very thankful to have worked at Clinton High School as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. I've had the opportunity to work with some great coaches and wonderful student athletes."

Perhaps the best way to know a man is to understand how he is known. And there is likely no one who understands him as well as his life-long friend and colleague, Amos Stroud, who said of Mason, "If you want to hear great things about a good man, I could talk about E.R. Mason all day. That man…E.R. Mason, he deserves every honor, and every award he can be given."

This article originally appeared in The Sampson Weekly on May 9, 2013.