Living in Wake County offers many reasons to be thankful. November presents an opportunity to reflect on specific blessings we enjoy. I’m thankful to serve as a President of WakeEd Partnership, leading an outstanding staff all of whom share the same passion for the education experience of 157,000 students attending Wake County Public Schools each day. I’m also thankful for our public-private partnership with the Wake County Public School System which has led to the development and delivery of our SummerSTEM, World Café, Teacher Innovation Grants and Partners Read programs.
I’m pleased to report that since the launch of our revised strategic focus two years ago, three of our programs have been nationally recognized. The campaign for grade level reading has acknowledged our Partners Read program as a pacesetter for volunteer involvement in schools. In August, I was honored to travel to the White House for the 2016 US 2020 STEM Mentoring Awards where WakeEd was recognized as one of only four finalists in the category of excellence in public/private partnerships for our SummerSTEM and World Café programming.
US2020 developed from a White House call to generate large-scale, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenges. Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships, a new award category in 2016, was designed to highlight innovative collaborations in STEM mentoring that have the ability to scale. The award recognizes effective, cross-sector partnerships that are eliminating barriers for underserved and underrepresented students and communities.
As a member of the Wake County community for quite some time with children who are graduates of Wake County Public Schools and a granddaughter who is now in the 2nd grade, I know the importance my family places on a strong public school system. I’m truly thankful for the career pathway opportunities that exist for all students in Wake County and WakeEd’s contribution to preparing them for success!