Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award

The Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award was established by the Public School Forum Board of Directors in 2000 to recognize exemplary leaders who have made outstanding contributions to public education.  The award may be given to anyone who has displayed innovative, creative, effective leadership for public education in North Carolina.

The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Jay Robinson, one of our state’s most distinguished education leaders. His career spanned 50 years, beginning as a math teacher and basketball and football coach in Cabarrus County, becoming a school principal and later superintendent of schools in first Cabarrus and then Charlotte-Mecklenburg school systems. He served as vice president for public affairs and special projects for the University of North Carolina system and chaired the State Board of Education. He was also the first president of the Public School Forum and served as an Emeritus Member of the Board until his death in April 2000.

Ann Goodnight is the recipient of the 2018 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. Mrs. Goodnight will be honored at a gala event on Monday, May 21, 2018 at the Raleigh Convention Center.


2018 Recipient

Ann Goodnight

More than 25 years ago, Ann Goodnight and her husband, SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, chose education as the primary focus of SAS’ outreach and community support and her name has been synonymous with education ever since.

Mrs. Goodnight is a trustee at North Carolina State University and is a member of the National Advisory Board for the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. She served on the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System from 2007-2015.  In 2008, she and her husband founded the Goodnight Scholars Program at NC State. The program invests in students from middle-income families across North Carolina interested in studying STEM and STEM education. Recipients of the now $20,000 a year scholarship are selected with an emphasis on academic excellence, professional achievement and civic engagement.

An advocate for children and education, Mrs. Goodnight is a co-founder and board member of Cary Academy.  She serves on the boards of the YMCA of the Triangle, the NC Science Festival, and BEST NC. She is also a committee member for the newly formed My Future NC Commission, tasked to strengthen the P-18 education continuum for a stronger and more competitive North Carolina.

Event Sponsors

Previous Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Recipients

Laura Bilbro-Berry
Lead Coordinator, Wachovia Partnership East & ECU College of Education
NC Teaching Fellows Graduate, NC Teacher of the Year, 2000-01

Dr. Tom McNeel
Retired Educator
Former Superintendent,
Caldwell County Schools

Dr. James F. Causby
Executive Director, North Carolina’s Superintendent Association
Former Superintendent,
Johnston County Schools

Dr. Robert E. Bridges
Retired Educator and Consultant

Judge Howard E. Manning, Jr.
Resident Superior Court Judge

Dr. Ann T. Denlinger
Vice President, William Peace University
Former Educator

Phil J. Kirk, Jr.
Director of Energy Services, Brady Energy Services
Former Vice President of External Relations, Catawba College

Dr. William C. Harrison
Former chair of State Board of Education
Former Superintendent of Cumberland County Schools

Dr. Dudley E. Flood
Education Consultant

Lawrence L. “Larry” Seigler
Retired Executive
DSM Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Erskine Bowles
Former President, UNC system

Dr. Sam Houston
President & CEO
North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center

Justice Burley Mitchell
Former Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court

Dr. Peggy Smith
Professor & Education Administrator
Campbell University

Dr. Edward Eugene “Gene” Causby
Education Consultant, Lobbyist
Former Executive Director, NC School Boards Association

Dr. Patricia “Pat” Ashley
Director, District and School Transformation Division
NC Department of Public Instruction

Dr. Mark Edwards
Mooresville Graded School District

Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.
Carolyn Hunt
Former Governor and First Lady of North Carolina

Governor James G. Martin, Former Governor of North Carolina
John Dornan and JoAnn Norris, Former Public School Forum of North Carolina Leaders

Howard N. Lee, Former Senator


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