Our second stop on my #TBT Non-profit Tour throws back to 2008…
“It all started with a phone call!”
That is how the East Mecklenburg High School Foundation begins the story of its history on its website.
In 2005, Principal Mark Nixon got that famous phone call by a 1973 alumnus, Bob Silver. Bob wanted to honor teachers at East Meck that had greatly contributed to his success. He pledged $500,000 as a matching grant to support the All Star Teacher Initiative and they were off!
In 2007, the challenge had been met and the Foundation was established. My involvement began in 2008 as a representative of Social Venture Partners in Charlotte, which at that time was the largest donor to the Foundation besides Bob Silver.
I had the pleasure of working with great parents, alumni, and staff as we crafted ways to empower the great teachers at East Meck. Impactful professional development, money for supplies (no receipts required), and even moving expense reimbursement were some of the things that we offered teachers. As a result, the teacher corps experienced very little turnover and word spread about the spirit created by the Foundation.
At the time I began my work with East Meck, I had no idea that the relationships I developed and the knowledge of the foundation structure that I learned would be so important to my later involvement at Myers Park High School!
When I was serving as PTA Co-President at Myers Park, the magnet portion of the IB Program was moved to East Meck. The relationships I had at East Meck helped me transition the families affected by the loss. I knew those families would be entering a quality program with a warm family atmosphere and I was able to communicate that. I was also able to use the governance structure of the East Meck Foundation to inform how the Myers Park Foundation set up its structure.
Cross-pollination is a great thing for plants and for schools as well!
It was an absolute pleasure to work with the great folks at East Meck such as Frank Reed, Pam Smith, Cheryl Plonk, Ruth Harris, Joan O’Brien, Cindy Brewer, Mark Nixon, Rick Parker, and Billie Little (I know I am missing a few folks).
They are still going strong, so look them up and participate! If you want to look into something that has a more global reach then participate in the CMS Foundation. Lots of ways to make your dollars do good things for our students!
Find East Mecklenburg High School Foundation on Facebook.
You can learn more about my experience working in education and our community here.