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CCS Names Five New Principals

NEWTON, April 24, 2023 -- Catawba County Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Stover announced five principal appointments for the upcoming school year, all experienced administrators with long-time ties to the district. The school board confirmed these positions on Monday night. The new administrators, who underwent rigorous application processes, will begin their new positions this summer. 


Samy Shreitah will serve as the principal of Fred T. Foard High School

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Samy Shreitah is a familiar face in a new role at Fred T. Foard High School. A 2004 graduate of Fred T. Foard, Shreitah received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History Education from North Carolina State University and returned to Fred T. Foard, where he taught in the Exceptional Children’s department and coached multiple sports for six years.  Shreitah obtained his M.A. in Executive Leadership from Gardner-Webb University and has served eight years as the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Foard. 

About the new position, Shreitah shares,” I look forward to working with our staff to continue growing the Foard Family through our students' academic success, extra-curricular achievements, and community involvement. Being a lifelong member of this community, it is both a privilege and honor to serve as the principal at Foard.” 

Shreitah resides in the Foard community with his wife, Margaret, and their three-year-old daughter, Laney. In his free time, Shreitah enjoys playing golf, spending time with family, enjoying time at the beach, and watching N.C. State Athletics and the Dallas Cowboys.


James Byrd will serve as the principal of Mill Creek Middle School

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James Byrd is taking on the role of Mill Creek Middle School principal after serving as the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of Bunker Hill High School for the past six years. Byrd received his Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Carolina University, an M.A. in English Education from  Appalachian State University, and his administrative licensure through Gardner-Webb University. Byrd taught high school English for 12 years, starting his career at North Wilkes High School and teaching at Bunker Hill High School from 2010-2013. He served as Assistant Principal of North Wilkes Middle School from 2013-2017  before returning to Catawba County Schools as an administrator.

Byrd expressed his enthusiasm for taking on his new role, “I am excited to have the chance to take part in providing Mill Creek students with a positive middle school experience like I had when I was young.  I look forward to working with the MCMS staff, its students, their families, and other schools in the Bandys district to ensure we are leading young people to great opportunities.”

Byrd resides in Catawba County with his wife Sarah, a teacher at St. Stephens, and daughter Sadie, a recent Girl Scout Bronze award recipient. Byrd’s interests outside of education include hiking, reading, and sports, and he is a big fan of trivia games!


Natalie Inman will serve as the principal of Balls Creek Elementary School

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Natalie Inman will return to Balls Creek Elementary as Principal after having taught there for 16 years early in her career. A graduate of Catawba County Schools, Inman received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from UNC-Charlotte and her M.A. in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University. Inman was previously the Assistant Principal of Snow Creek Elementary and has been the Assistant Principal at Catawba Elementary since 2020. 

“I am excited to return to Balls Creek Elementary School, which I was fortunate to call home for 16 years,” notes Inman. “I look forward to cultivating respectful and supportive relationships with students, staff, and families! As principal, I promise to work with my team as we strive to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to have a successful future!”

Inman resides in Catawba County and has one daughter, Sydney, who attended Balls Creek Elementary, and a Son-in-Law, Joshua.


Murphy Post will serve as the principal of Lyle Creek Elementary School

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Murphy Post is a graduate of Appalachian State University and holds an M.A. from UNCW. Mr. Post taught Social Studies at St. Stephens High School for 11 years, where he was also a basketball coach. In addition, Post spent three years as an assistant principal at Lyle Creek Elementary before taking on the principal role at Pumpkin Center Intermediate School in Lincoln County, where he has served since 2021.

"I'm excited about returning to Lyle Creek where I had the opportunity to serve previously, notes Post. “The students, staff, and community make Lyle Creek a special place to be, and I look forward to building on the relationships I already have and the opportunity to build new ones."

Post resides in HIckory with his wife, Margaret, and their two dogs and two cats. They are expecting their first child this summer. Post enjoys attending App State and Panther games, hiking, playing pickup basketball, and traveling as much as possible.


Matthew Barham will serve as the principal of St. Stephens Elementary School

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Matt Barham is a proud St. Stephens High School graduate and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Gardner Webb University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Queens University. He is currently 

pursuing his Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Barham spent 12 years at River Bend Middle School as a CTE teacher, where he also coached baseball and football and served as the school athletic director from 2008-2020. Since 2020, Barham has served in the capacity of assistant principal at St. Stephens Elementary. 

“I am excited to continue working with St Stephens Elementary School,” states Barham.” I look forward to continuing to strengthen relationships with our students, staff, and community. I plan to provide a safe learning environment where all students feel welcomed and empowered to grow.” 

Barham’s family is an integral part of Catawba County Schools. His wife, Neely, is a teacher in the system, and his two children attend Catawba County Schools. In his free time, Barham enjoys working outside, attending sporting events, traveling, and spending time with his family.