Please allow me a personal story. I’ll end it with a message.
I was one of those mothers who thought their children’s elementary school could not function without my presence at the monthly PTA meeting. High school was no different other than it was a Local School Advisory Council and the school was in metro-Atlanta, rather than rural Georgia, and in a school system of 80-plus schools. When my youngest child entered her freshman year, I decided to run for the county board of education…not because I was an “agenda candidate” and wanted to see fundamental change, but because the county schools were doing good work and I wanted to see improvement continue. I won the seat and served four years. Occasionally my son or daughter would complain “do you have to be at every school meeting?” I assured them I did, and they survived the experience. Through those years, I attended an untold number of meetings…local meetings, state and regional conferences: National School Board Association conferences, 48 board of education meetings, 44 regional school Cluster gatherings, as well as other education initiatives.
This past October, NCEDA’s Board of Directors voted to endorse the new nonprofit initiative myFutureNC; in doing so, we joined more than a dozen other statewide partners in embracing educational attainment as a critical force in our state’s future economic growth. In early February, myFutureNC hosted their kick-off event at the Grandover Resort. With more than 300 in attendance, we heard from university, community college, business and elected officials. We also heard from Jackson Barnes, a college sophomore studying music at High Point University, who concluded his remarks with these thoughts: “an investment in knowledge pays the highest benefits and investing in the power of tomorrow – sometimes – only takes the planting of one seed.”
One constant message in all the education meetings I attended has been the importance of communication. myFutureNC’s mission is to prepare NC for the future by empowering individuals, strengthening communities and ensuring our economic viability in a global economy. You can learn more at myfuturenc.org and I encourage you to become knowledgeable about the conversation and, if possible, join the conversation.
Dr. Patricia Mitchell