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NEWS RELEASES 2003-04 :: OCTOBER 25, 2003


Small and large businesses, the faith community, chambers of commerce, philanthropic and other community groups will be recognized for their work to improve North Carolina public schools when the third annual Governor's Education First Partnership Awards are presented at 12 noon, Friday, October 31, at the Meridian Corporate Center in Charlotte, NC. The second annual Lever Award will also be presented to one private sector leader who has had the greatest impact on improving public education in the state.

The awards presentation is a part of the Meet in the Middle Conference, a regional convening designed to encourage stronger family, community, and business partnerships in the southeast. The conference is sponsored by the Public School Forum/NC Partners, Bellsouth Foundation, SERVE, the Public Schools of North Carolina, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Time Warner Cable, Tennessee Tomorrow, Inc., the NC Business Committee for Education, Georgia Association of Partners in Education, and the NC School Boards Association.

The Governor's Education First Partnership Awards were created to recognize outstanding sustained business and community-based partnerships that have significantly improved student performance. In addition, one individual will be recognized as outstanding individual lifetime commitment to improving public education. Mr. William Shore, GlaxoSmithKline's National Partnerships Director, is the individual singled out in 2003 for this honor.

The 2003 Governor's Education First Partnership winners are:

  • AT&T Wireless
  • Carolina Biological Supply Company
  • The Cleveland County Humane Society Hearts and Hooves Therapeutic Riding program
  • The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public School Foundation
  • First Health of the Carolinas
  • The Greenville Pitt County Chamber of Commerce - Partners in Education
  • The Guilford County College Tech Prep IT Business Council
  • Progress Energy
  • Scotland Health Care Systems
  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church
  • Trinity AME Zion Church and The Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities
  • Wachovia

"North Carolina's private sector leads the nation in supporting public school improvement, from tens of thousands of volunteer hours to financial supporting strategies that increase student achievement," stated Greenville resident Larry Seigler, NC Partners Leadership Council chairman. "We're very pleased to bring the Conference and these awards to Charlotte, where Mayor McCrory and BellSouth's Krista Tillman have been recognized in the past for their roles in making North Carolina public schools first in America."

For more information on the awards program or the Conference, please contact Phillip Cates, Public School Forum, at 919.781.6833, ext 117 or Press planning to attend the awards must arrange a press pass by contacting:

Anne C. McNeill
Program Manager
IBM Corporate Community Relations
8501 IBM Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone:704.594.3490 Fax 704.594.4766

For more information regarding the current award winners or directions to the Meet in the Middle Conference, please see

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.