By Scot McAlexander | Market President, Xenith Bank
I am very excited and honored to be the 2017-2018 Board Chair for WakeEd Partnership. That is the top reason my family chose to move to Wake County ten years ago. My children are now graduates of Wake County Public Schools, and I continue to talk to business leaders on a daily basis as part of my role at Xenith Bank about why they live and do business in Wake County. The quality of our public schools and our graduates is at the top of their lists. Having strong public schools continues to be a key to economic development and to attracting and retaining entrepreneurs and employees to our community.
When I arrived in North Carolina in 2007, I felt we were resting on our laurels as an “education state.” At that time we proudly supported our public school systems throughout the state with our words, but we were not driving excellence in public education with our actions. Our state’s priorities with regards to public education have not improved over the past decade, and it is now time again for the leaders in our community to step up and support Wake County public schools in a different way. We need to step into the void. Waiting for guidance and funding from Washington or Jones Street is no longer the answer. We as a business community need to say with a clear, strong voice that fully-funded, fully-staffed, innovative public schools that serve our entire diverse community are vitally important and worth fighting for.
Wake County is a highly educated, wealthy community and we can and should be a shining star of exceptional public education, not only for our state, but for the nation. Innovation and excellence are hallmarks of our community. We as business leaders need to encourage our public schools and elected officials to continue to push forward with efforts to be that shining star.
For over thirty years WakeEd has been an active and sometimes critical supporter of our public school system, we are the business community’s independent voice in the conversation. I encourage all of you to become even more active in the award-winning work that WakeEd is doing to enthusiastically support the innovative work of our public school educators, like SummerSTEM, World Café, and the Teacher Innovation Grants program. I also encourage you to be informed, by regularly reading In Context and WakeEdge, so that you can be an active participant in the conversation on public education with your neighbors, your colleagues, your employees, other members of the business community, and especially our elected officials. Strong public schools are the key to the continued success of our community. Thank you for your ongoing support of WakeEd Partnership and our schools.