Stan White, a Dare County native and former official who has been dedicated to providing public service to the Outer Banks community for more than four decades, has the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine award.
The award—which is considered to be North Carolina’s highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor—was presented to White during the February 7, 2022, Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting by Chairman Bob Woodard, who spearheaded the efforts to nominate him for the esteemed honor.
Since its creation in 1963, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine has been awarded to individuals whose exemplary service, extraordinary achievements and substantial contributions to both their communities and the state of North Carolina going above and beyond the impact of duty, making a significant and ultimately strengthening the state as a whole.
Born and raised in Manns Harbor, White is a lifelong public servant who initially began his service career as a public school teacher in Dare County before launching Stan White Realty and Construction in 1975. White began serving as a Dare County commissioner in 1997 and continued to serve the Outer Banks community in that capacity for a total of eight years, three of which were spent serving as the board’s chairman.
A staunch advocate for local schools, White placed a high priority on educational funding, and thanks to his strong commitment and ongoing efforts, funding for four new schools was approved by the Dare County Board of Commissioners and renovations and additions were completed at five existing schools campuses during the time he served on the board. White’s dedication was also responsible for calling attention to and ultimately addressing a series of long-overdue maintenance issues at several of these facilities.
“Without a doubt, these improvements contributed to the excellent school facilities that exist here in Dare County today, and his efforts led to educational funding becoming a top priority for our county,” Woodard said. “That commitment continues today.”
Although he achieved a wide array of notable accomplishments as a Dare County commissioner, White’s contributions to the community during his time spent serving in that particular role weren’t limited to the field of education. According to Woodard, his leadership was also instrumental in the construction of a new and improved facility for the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services and a new reverse osmosis water treatment facility on Hatteras Island—as well as the brand-new courthouse and Dare County Administration Building that were both constructed on Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo.
In addition to serving on the Dare County Board of Commissioners, White also served as a board member on the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors, where he supervised the organization’s homeowners recovery fund for over five years, as well as on the North Carolina Board of Transportation, where he played an integral role in an assortment of critical projects, including the replacement of seven bridges on Ocracoke Island in Hyde County—an award-winning project that was completed in just 45 days.
Upon North Carolina Senator Marc Basnight’s retirement from office in 2011, White was appointed to serve the constituents of State Senate District 1 for the remainder of Basnight’s term.
At the local level, White has also had a profound and lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals throughout Dare County over the years as a result of his service on several boards, including the Dare County Tourism Board, Dare County Social Services Board, Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, Outer Banks Home Builders Association, The Outer Banks Hospital and the Outer Banks Rotary Club.
“It has been my privilege to observe firsthand all that Stan has contributed to Dare County and the state of North Carolina, and I can attest to his career of public service that has spanned over 40 years,” Woodard said. “Stan has dedicated time and energy to many different organizations throughout his life, and all have benefited from his efforts to make Dare County, eastern North Carolina and the entire state the best that it can be.”
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