New Wake County Public School Student “Emerging Star Award”

Student to be honored at Stars of Education Gala at Raleigh Convention Center on October 12, 2023 

RALEIGH, N.C. — WakeEd Partnership, a business-backed nonprofit organization committed to supporting teachers and students in Wake County Public Schools, today announced the creation of a new student award for Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) students called the “Emerging Star Award.” One student will be selected each year to be honored at WakeEd’s annual Stars of Education Gala in October.

WakeEd Partnership is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, as well as the 10th annual Stars of Education Gala. The new “Emerging Star Award” was created as part of WakeEd’s 40th year celebration and will be presented alongside the annual Vernon Malone Friend of Education Award, Robert E. Bridges Lifetime Achievement Award, and the six Wake County Public Schools Hall of Fame inductees at the Stars of Education Gala on October 12, 2023 at the Raleigh Convention Center. In addition to the award, the student will receive a $5,000 grant to be used for their post-secondary education endeavors.

“We are continually awe-struck with the breadth of talent, vigor, and community presence that many of our WCPSS students showcase throughout their tenure in the school system,” said Douglas Price, Director of Programs, WakeEd Partnership. “Over the past few years, our programs and initiatives have shifted to becoming more student-centric, through new career-focused initiatives built to bridge the relationships of students with our local business partners, or through building our literacy initiatives in more of our local school buildings. Through it all, we can see the dynamic presence of our students within our local communities and want to take a moment to honor and recognize some of the outstanding students that are here.”

The Emerging Star Award is designed to recognize the brilliance of one 12th-grade student (as of 2023/24 school year) from the WCPSS district who has exhibited strength in both academics and community leadership. Each high school will be able to nominate several students from its student body for consideration. Student nominees are those who have exhibited: high leadership capacity throughout the school and/or local community, high level of community engagement, and maintained a level of academic integrity and achievement.

About WakeEd Partnership   

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023, WakeEd Partnership (WakeEd) is a leading independent nonprofit backed by business and community leaders to support the teachers, students, and families of Wake County Public Schools. Since 1983, WakeEd has been committed to improving public education and advocating for excellent educational opportunities for all students. For more information, please visit

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