The Vernon Malone Friend of Education Award is the highest honor awarded by Wake Education Partnership. It is given to someone who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public education and shares the personal qualities of the late Senator Vernon Malone.
Recipients of this award set a high standard for selfless dedication to the ongoing improvement of public education — moving from words to deeds that have a lasting impact. Those nominated for the award must come from outside the field of education, be persuasive advocates for all children, and serve as an example for others.
Vernon Malone’s Legacy
Born in Wake Forest in 1931, Vernon D. Malone was a longtime teacher, administrator, county commissioner, and local legislator in Wake County. He was the first chairman of the Wake County school board following the 1976 merger of the Raleigh and Wake School Systems and devoted his life to improving education for all students. As the highest honor awarded by Wake Education Partnership, it is given to someone who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public education and shares the personal qualities of the late Senator Vernon Malone, who passed away in 2009.
Vernon Malone lived and worked his entire life in Raleigh and its surrounding communities. For close to four decades he held an elective office. A black man who came of age during the era of segregation, he developed a firm belief that every child, regardless of race, could reach their full potential if given a solid education. Learn More About Vernon Malone’s Legacy
The highest honor bestowed by WakeEd, it is presented annually at the Stars of Education event. Recipients are nominated and selected by WakeEd’s board of directors, leadership council, and past recipients.