The Head of Class Project
Achieving academics goals. Enhancing student performance.
On August 26, 2010, The Lee County Education Foundation unveiled its non-profit initiative supporting incentive-based school achievement. The Head of Class Project, its flagship public-private partnership, awards $50,000 annually to the faculty and staff of the best performing elementary school in Lee County. The incentive-based model is the first of its kind in North Carolina. Each employee of the winning school – principal, teachers, teacher assistants, librarians, custodians, etc. – will receive a portion of the award. The Lee County Education Foundation raised a $1 million endowment supported by non-tax dollars – individual donors and corporations big and small have played a part – to fund The Head of Class Project award and continues its fundraising efforts. The award will reinforce the hard work necessary to improve the academic performance of Lee County students as measured by the annual testing by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
2016 Head of Class Winner
Deep River Elementary
Chairman, Bill Horner III
Treasurer, Charlie Welborn
President, Vicki Haislip
Dr. Andy Bryan, Superintendent, Lee County Schools (ex officio)
Bob Joyce, Economic Development Executive Director, Sanford Area Growth Alliance (ex officio)
Dr. Carol Chappell, Executive Director of Instruction for Performance, Lee County Schools (ex officio)
Local leaders will be the drivers of change and improvement in North Carolina schools. This Lee County effort is a remarkable reflection of the community’s willingness to create excellence in education.
Having observed public education on a national basis, I know first-hand the importance of creating novel recognition and reward systems to model the excellence that will help us drive positive, permanent change. Lee County’s efforts also demonstrate that the most creative solutions originate at the local level.
Innovation is at the heart of education improvement and the work of Dennis Wicker and the Lee County leaders reflect this drive to create new incentives and new models for high achievement. North Carolina will be enjoying the rewards of this effort for many years to come.