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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: MAY 3, 2002


When Phil Kirk was appointed as chairman of the State Board of Education in 1997, one of his goals was to visit all 117 local school districts in North Carolina. On Wednesday, May 8, when he and fellow Board member Evelyn B. Monroe visit Montgomery County Schools, Kirk will have met his goal.

Kirk is the first Board chairman known to have set a goal to visit all North Carolina school districts. In addition, he has visited in more than 750 individual schools.

"There is no substitute for actually seeing the schools throughout the state, " Kirk said. "I have learned a great deal and benefited immensely from getting into the school community and meeting with educators and students. It's been well worth the effort."

During his Montgomery County visit, Kirk will begin the day by speaking in his role as President of North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry and as Publisher of "North Carolina Magazine". He will officially unveil a community profile of Montgomery County, which appeared in the April edition of "North Carolina Magazine." The 7:30 a.m. breakfast will be held at Montgomery Community College.

Kirk will then his school district tour at the county's central office, 441 Page St., Troy, at 9 a.m. when he meets with principals and district education officials. This meeting will be followed by a visit to Candor Elementary at about 10 a.m. Candor Elementary School is located at 414 S. Main St., Candor. Kirk also will visit West Mongtomery High School, 147 Warrior Drive, Mount Gilead, after he leaves the elementary school. His visit to Montgomery County will include lunch with the local school board.

Max Walser, interim superintendent of Montgomery County Schools, said that the county's educators were joking about Kirk saving "the best for last" in his 117 school district visits. "We are pleased that he's coming to Montgomery County," Walser said. "It is significant that he respects the local educators enough to make a personal visit to each school system. When the chief education policy-makers care enough to visit the educators who will carry out those policies, it is meaningful."

The Chairman of the State Board of Education is elected by his fellow board members to serve a two-year term. Kirk has served as chairman since his appointment to the Board in 1997. The Board is composed of 11 members appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the State Treasurer. Board members are volunteers who serve eight-year terms and set education policies, including financial allotment policies, which affect more than 2,200 traditional and charter schools statewide.

Kirk, a former English and journalism teacher, is a native of Rowan County and a graduate of Catawba College. He is the president and secretary of the NC Citizens for Business and Industry and the publisher of North Carolina Magazine. His list of government positions is extensive and includes service as the Chief of Staff for two former governors and as a State Senator. Kirk currently resides in Raleigh.

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.