Return to Headlines

Drew Pledger named 2017 NC Social Worker of the Year

February 3, 2017

Drew Pledger The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) has named our Drew Pledger as 2017 NC Social Worker of the Year.

Pledger serves as the school district’s Coordinator of Mental Health Services and Crisis Response Team Lead. He coordinates the mental health response for emergencies, ranging from student and staff deaths to weather related events that disrupt student learning. He also determines how to communicate with families about follow-up and mental health support.

“He has an unwavering desire to positively impact our world and help those in need,” says Darlene Johnson, WCPSS Director of School Social Work. “Drew is always the voice of reason.”

Pledger has also earned a reputation both statewide and nationally as an advocate for students, families, and fellow social workers. He was previously recognized as the Clinical Social Worker of the Year by the North Carolina Society of Clinical Social Work (NCSCSW).

Pledger has also been awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the Governor of NC for service to the state.

He has been a member and served in leadership roles with various professional organizations, including National Association of Social Workers and National Clinical Social Work Association. He also is former chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission Juvenile Justice Committee.

“Drew used his extensive and varied social work background to inform his leadership role on the National Board,” said Dr. Angelo McClain, CEO of the National Association of Social Workers. “He urged and emphasized cooperation and partnership with our Sister Associations to build a spirit and community of ‘we-ness,’ because he believed by working together we could achieve more for social workers, the profession and the people social workers serve.”

“It remains inherent for all of us to remain committed to our core social work values to support all people regardless of their status or any other issues that might cause them to be identified as different,” Pledger said. “I am so very proud to identify myself as a social worker and proud of NASW’s leadership. This organization provides a beacon of hope and a reference point around which we can rally and at times check our own moral compass.”

Pledger will be honored as Social Worker of the Year at the NASW-NC Annual Ethics Conference and Awards Luncheon at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh on Friday, March 24, 2017.