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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: DECEMBER 5, 2008


AT&T-North Carolina President Cynthia Marshall yesterday was presented with the State Board of Education's most prestigious award, “Friend of Education,” in recognition of her “generosity to support causes and programs that improve children's lives.”

State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee said that until Cynthia Marshall moved to North Carolina, he had never known anyone who had arrived in North Carolina and on day one started to make a difference. “She has gone above and beyond the call of duty in support of public education, and I can't think of a more deserving person and organization,” Lee said.

State Board of Education member and North Carolina Business Committee for Education Executive Director Tricia Willoughby presented the award to Marshall. In accepting the award, Marshall said she was touched and honored. “Public education and educators saved my life. They knew I deserved a chance in life and they embraced me. I want others to have the same opportunity,” Marshall said. “I also work for a fabulous company that has made education its number one priority,” she added.

AT&T has long been a strong supporter of public education in North Carolina, involved in many different venues and activities across the state. Since Marshall was named President - AT&T North Carolina in January 2007, the company has increased its support for education, with an emphasis on dropout prevention. Under her leadership, AT&T sponsors a number of initiatives including:

  • the AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program;
  • the AT&T Cadet Achievement Awards, given by the Carolinas Freedom Foundation to outstanding ROTC cadets from the 18 public high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg; and
  • a Communities in Schools site coordinator position at Bruns Avenue Elementary in Charlotte, and adopted the school with employees providing mentor support to at-risk students.

Also, during the State Board's Thursday morning meeting, AT&T External Affairs Director Vanessa Harrison presented the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation a check for $50,000 to support the Foundation's efforts in reducing the state's dropout rate. This money will be used to distribute two toolkits to every public school in the state.

Marshall also serves on the North Carolina General Assembly's Committee on Dropout Prevention and on the North Carolina New Schools Project Board of Directors.

For more information, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 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.