Marketing and Communication

Worked with consultant BC/DC Ideas to develop a comprehensive communications plan for WakeED, a new brand/logo, collateral materials and a new website. Fran Carruthers worked with BC/DC Ideas and Armstrong McGuire to develop a new case statement for WakeEd highlighting our strategic mission and goals.

7 new Cornerstone investors added $99,500 in funding. 4 new investors added $4,200. Increased gifts from 11 existing investors added $33,300. Lost 5 investors totaling $21,000.

Grant applications totaling $444,462 submitted by WakeEd to corporate and private foundations; to date, approved grants total $224,462.

Approved private foundation grants: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Triangle Community Foundation, the John Rex Endowment and the Kids N’ Community Foundation (Carolina Hurricanes).

Updated our board requirement documents so our board members know the best way to help impact schools. Recruited new Board member candidates aligned with our diversity plan (Z. Smith Reynolds grant requirement).

You can see the impact we have on WCPSS year-round by subscribing to our new monthly newsletter.

Serving as a Catalyst

Hosted work session on Sept. 9 with Rep. Paul Stam, Stam’s Education Advisor Gregg Sinders, Supt. Jim Merrill, BEST NC President/CEO Brenda Berg, Chair Caroline McCullen, Dr. Julie Crain and Steve Parrott to discuss education policy challenges and opportunities.

Secured a grant from IBM to host a Leadership and Collaboration workshop on Oct. 17 at PNC Arena for Superintendent Merrill, County Manager Jim Hartmann, their respective senior leadership teams, WakeEd leadership and staff.

On Nov. 9-10, PCatalyst-circleresident Steve Parrott joined School Board Chair Christine Kushner, School Board Members Bill Fletcher and Kevin Hill and Communities in Schools of Wake County Executive Director Travis Mitchell on a panel for a community-wide education forum in Rochester, NY. Allowed WakeEd an opportunity to talk about what’s working in our school system. Shared examples of collaboration between the business community and our school system.

President Steve Parrott, Chair Caroline McCullen and Board Member Marion Robinson served on the WCPSS work group charged with “drafting” a strategic plan for the school system. Approved by school board in Jan. 2015. Aligns with WakeEd’s strategic focus.

On Jan. 6, WakeEd and WCPSS co-hosted the 3rd Annual World Café at Biogen with 28 businesses and 41 schools. 125 participants (including Supt. James Merrill and members of his senior leadership team) engaged in breakout discussions to identify opportunities to connect business and community resources with STEM and Global Studies schools in WCPSS. 87% of survey respondents reported experience as good or excellent.

Drafted and received Executive Committee approval for a resolution supporting continuance of Common Core State Standards. We also joined the NC Hire Standards Coalition in addressing this policy issue.

We collaborated with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) to co-host the annual Education Forum titled “Beyond the Bucks: What Matters Most to Teachers” on May 28. Over 120 people attended this event.

Developed talking points/position statement and recruited WakeEd leaders to speak at the Wake County Board of Commissioners’ public hearing on June 1 regarding the county manager’s proposed budget.

Informing Our Community

In Context published twice monthly, covers key education issues at the local, state and national level.

WakeEdge alert designed and implemented. Delivers timely updates to our Board, Leadership Council, investors and community at large regarding education policy matters and decisions affecting WCPSS by the NC General Assembly, Wake Board of Commissioners and Wake Board of Education. Also used to issue “call to action” as needed.

Excellence in Action event held at Morrisville Elementary School on Dec. 12 highlighting an evidence-based best practice in Science. Teacher has received two Teacher Leadership Grants from WakeEd.

Dr. Julie Crain regularly attends meetings of the Board of Education and their committees, meetings of the Wake County Board of Commissioners (as deemed appropriate) to ensure timely, objective reporting of discussions and decisions affecting WCPSS.

President Steve Parrott, Dr. Julie Crain and Teresa Pierrie were frequent presenters at chamber of commerce meetings in Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs. We created the Wake Education Advisory Council in Oct. 2014 to include leaders from all 12 chambers of commerce. Council meets quarterly at WakeEd with Supt. Merrill and members of his senior leadership team to discuss “hot topics” in education.

WakeEd has also been featured in presentations to Leadership Raleigh, BEST NC, Public Schools Forum and the National Conference of Magnet Schools of America.

Supporting Educators

Inaugural Stars of Education celebration held Oct. 22 at Raleigh Marriott City Center; over 350 attendees. Teacher grant recipients honored. 6 new inductees for the WCPSS Hall of Fame. Vernon Malone Friend of Education award presented to former IBM executive Dick Daugherty.

Teacher Innovation Grants (TIG) totaling over $49K awarded to 20 WCPSS teachers/professional learning teams for the 2014 – 2015 school year. WakeEd and WCPSS have a public/private partnership agreement where WCPSS will match investments from WakeEd and our investors in the TIG program (up to $50K). WakeEd provides administration of the program to WCPSS at no charge; all of their investment is returned directly to teachers.

Successful pilot program of the Family Literacy Initiative at Hodge Road Elementary and Wakelon Elementary. Collaborated with non-profit partner MotherRead to train parents on use of literacy resources at home. Provided a “free” book fair for students and literacy toolkits (Letterland Child Friendly Phonics) to parents. Kids N’ Community Foundation has provided an investment to scale this program to other Pre-K classrooms during the 2015-2016 school year.

WakeEd served on the leadership team for the WAKE Up and Read annual book drive conducted in Feb. and March. Also served as fiscal sponsor for the book drive. Goal was 100,000 books; collected 114,000 total. Participated in “free” book fairs.

Co-sponsored the WAKE Up and Read Pre-School Book Distribution Event on April 30 with Marbles Kids Museum. Added books to family libraries and included workshops to support family literacy engagement as they “read, talk, and play” with their children.

Partnered with the Wake County Bar Association, launched the Lawyers Read program in 5 high-need elementary schools in WCPSS. 23 volunteers trained with WCPSS prior to their 10 week assignments. Program received national recognition. Nationwide Insurance has signed on for our Partners Read program for FY 2016. We continue to recruit volunteers from other companies and professional organizations in Wake County.

Collaborated with WCPSS (and partners Wake Tech, NC New Schools, Vernon Malone College and Career Academy) to develop a SummerSTEM program that took place July 13-17. Provided professional development for 50 teachers (25 schools) in project-based learning. Included 2 days of STEM immersion with our business partners. WakeEd and WCPSS shared the cost of the program.