Jack Clayton Executive Vice PresidentThere are precious few institutions in the Triangle like WakeEd Partnership that have become woven into the fabric of the community.

When the Clayton family arrived in Raleigh 25 years ago in 1990 with three school-aged boys, WakeEd was already hard at work supporting the teachers and administrators of the school system.  Our family was committed to sending our children to the local schools.  We searched to buy a house in the “best school district” and learned that the policy was to make all schools balanced and equally the “best school” through neighborhood and magnet schools.  These things don’t just happen, WakeEd Partnership was a force in the community making it happen.

I have been on intercity visits to larger cities like Seattle, Dallas, and Boston to learn about their strengths and to plan for the future of Wake County.  Each time we returned knowing that our school system was far better than all these larger cities that had outstanding convention centers, art centers or road systems and we recommitted ourselves to not let our school system deteriorate.  The Wake County Public School System is a real selling point to companies looking to relocate and bring their employees to the Triangle.

Our Wells Fargo Foundation has the same commitment to childhood education and is willing to invest in programs that provide a high rate of return to the community, our customers, and employees.  This is home for all of us and we all want a great community.  Like others before me, I have served on WakeEd’s Board of Trustees.  Our investment in education is for the long run; it is for our families and for the health of our community. We need a strong WakeEd Partnership that can and will be the advocate for improving the schools and supporting teachers and administrators.

Our three sons have graduated from the Wake County Public School System, attended university, and are fortunately all gainfully employed.  If you were to ask each of them what our public school system gave them, they would say – confidence – the confidence that they possess the needed academic training to compete with the best from anywhere.  They would also say they learned to get along in a diverse real-world environment which prepared them for working on internationally diverse teams in Riyadh, Perth, Dubai or Singapore.  They were taught leadership though an excellent Student Council program from advisors and principals who let them really learn by letting them fail at times.  Our Wake County Public School System is willing to think outside the box by supporting classes at NC State, summer internships, and international baccalaureate studies.  We want a school system that will look at each child individually and help them find what will most challenge and inspire them to be the best they can be.

Wells Fargo proudly supports WakeEd Partnership because they support our school system and thus our children in making our community the best place to live, work, and educate our students.

Jack Clayton