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NEWS RELEASES 2000-01 :: SEPTEMBER 14, 2000


Greenville - Phillip J. Kirk Jr., president of the NC Citizens for Business and Industry, today was re-elected as chairman of the State Board of Education by his fellow board members as part of their regular September meeting.

Dr. Jane Norwood, professor of education at Appalachian State University, was re-elected to a two-year term as vice chairman. She was appointed to a partial term as vice chairman in 1999 when Dr. Prezell Robinson's term ended.

The Board's chairman serves a two year term. Board members are appointed by the Governor and serve eight-year terms. The State Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor also are members of the Board.

Kirk was named to the Board by Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. in 1997 to succeed Dr. Jay Robinson, the former chairman. Board members elected Kirk to serve the rest of Robinson's term as chairman, and in 1998, the board elected him to a full 2-year term as chairman. Today's election will mark Kirk's second full term as Board chairman.

As President of NCCBI, the state's chamber of commerce, Kirk is considered the state's chief advocate for business and industrial interests in North Carolina. A graduate of Catawba College, Kirk is a former teacher in Salisbury and the former chief of staff for Governors Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin and U.S. Sen. Jim Broyhill. Kirk is a Raleigh resident and has two children in Wake County public schools.

Norwood has been on the State Board of Education since 1990 when she was appointed by Gov. Martin. She was re-appointed by Hunt in 1995. She is a Charlotte resident.

"Continuity of leadership on the State Board of Education is very important as we change Governors. We anticipate a number of new members of the State Board of Education, including a new Lieutenant Governor and State Treasurer, " Kirk said. "I appreciate the confidence of the members of the Board.

Priorities during the coming two years, Kirk said, include fine-tuning and strengthening the state's ABCs program, implementing grade-level proficiency standards and the high school exit exam, closing the achievement gap between majority and minority students, and addressing the teacher recruitment/retention challenge.

For more information, please call the Communications Office, NC DPI, 919.807.3450.

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.