Stan Elrod, Clemmons resident, longtime educator and school board candidate, dies at 71

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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By Marc Pruitt

Stan Elrod, who spent his career in education and was running for a seat in District 2 on the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools’ Board of Education, died unexpectedly on Tuesday night according to several posts from his family members on social media.

Elrod was a well-known and well-respected former teacher, coach, principal and county athletics director who devoted his life to education. He served as the principal at Reynolds High School from 1991-2005 before he opened Reagan High School and served as its first principal from 2005-2010, when he retired. He went on to become the high school athletics director in 2012 for WS/FCS for several years before his second retirement.

Elrod began his career as a social studies teacher and basketball coach in York, South Carolina. He moved to Winston-Salem in 1981 to teach and coach basketball at Reynolds. He also served as the athletics director for the Demons and coached several other sports before becoming an assistant principal there under Bob Deaton.

Elrod celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Linda, in July. He is also survived by his two children, Angie Sams, who is a teacher in WS/FCS, and Michael.

A viewing will be held at Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home on Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem on Saturday, October 28 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

The funeral will be held on Sunday, October 30 at 2 p.m. at the Reynolds High School Auditorium. A reception will follow the funeral at Salem Glen Country Club in Clemmons.

This was Elrod’s first run for political office. In a “Your Neighbor” feature about him in the Courier in April, Elrod disclosed the reasons he decided to run for a seat on the school board.

“Because of what I’m hearing from a lot of my former colleagues, I have decided to run for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board in District 2,” he told Mandy Haggerson in the story. “When I was principal, I knew that if I didn’t show up to work for one day no one would miss me. If a teacher doesn’t show up to school or wasn’t able to do their job if affects 130-140 students any given day. It didn’t take me long to recognize the importance of getting teachers what they need to do their jobs. I intend to still allow myself to retire, but I thought of all those students I looked in the eye and asked them if they wanted to be part of the solution or part of the problem. I realized how could I not do the same thing when I was in their shoes if I had the opportunity myself.”

Elrod’s name will remain on the ballot under North Carolina state law and the Forsyth County Republican Party must name a replacement candidate for Elrod before Election Day on November 8.

With early voting having already started, and absentee ballots already mailed out, any votes cast for Elrod already will go to the replacement candidate.