Education Luminaries kick off 175th Anniversary Celebration of N.C. Public Schools

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Gov. Pat McCrory welcomed around 1,000 attendees to the the 175th Anniversary of North Carolina Public Schools Celebration recently at the Raleigh Convention Center. The event, created by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) and the North Carolina School Public Relations Association (NCSPRA), kicked off the Every Child's Chance...Every Community's Future initiative to increase support for N.C. public schools.

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The 175th anniversary event served as the centerpiece for the 2015 NCASA Conference on Educational Leadership. The association presented its 2015 Champion for Children Award to John Dornan, NC Public School Forum's founding executive director, who urged attendees to take the momentum created by the celebration and use it as a platform to continue building support for public education.

Perhaps the event's biggest standing ovation, of which there were many, went to three of seven veteran educators whose careers have spanned more than 50 years of service - and who are still working today. Educators present to receive the award and admiration were: James "Rabbit" Fulghum of Greene County Schools (52 years); Mary Riddick of Gates County Schools (54 years); and Everlene Davis of Columbus County Schools (59 years).

NCASA presented its Raymond Sarbaugh Leadership Award to co-recipients Dr. Dudley Flood, N.C. Department ofPublic Instruction specialist in school desegregation and race relations (retired), and Mr. Charlie Glazener, Executive Director of Community Relations and Communications with Asheville City Schools.

State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson addressed the gathering and author/educator Jill McCorkle introduced the Every Child's Chance...Every Community's Future website, which provides talking points, sample presentations, social media messaging and other resources to help advocate for stronger public schools in our state.

Every Child's Chance...Every Community's Future was created in January 2014 by NCASA and NCSPRA, acting upon a request from school superintendents to increase support for public schools. This 175th anniversary celebration will launch theinitiative, a concerted effort to connect school leaders with business leaders, government officials, parents, and community groups to spread the message that North Carolina public schools are thriving - and that building increased respect and support for public schools is imperative for the ongoing viability of those schools and for the state as a whole. To learn more visit www.everychildschancenc.org, where a recording of the entire celebration will be available to view soon.