RALEIGH, NC (February 28, 2019) – James (Jim) and Barbara Goodmon were named today as the recipients of the 2019 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. The Forum established the award in 2000 to recognize leaders who have demonstrated innovative, creative, and effective leadership for public education in North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Goodmon will be honored at a gala event on Thursday, May 30, at the Raleigh Convention Center.
“Jim and Barbara Goodmon’s decades of leadership when it comes to promoting strong public schools and the public good in North Carolina is truly unparalleled,” said Dr. Tom Williams, Chairman of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “We live in a state that has been blessed with strong business leaders and philanthropists who recognize that investing in our schools and our communities is not only good for business, but it’s the right thing to do. The Goodmons have dedicated their lives to both preserving and creating so many wonderful investments that North Carolinians can look forward to enjoying for generations to come.”
Jim Goodmon, chairman and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, and Barbara Goodmon, president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, have spent decades finding innovative ways to meet their community’s needs—and public education has been at the top of their agenda. As actively engaged philanthropists and changemakers, the Goodmons have promoted effective and high-quality human services for disadvantaged people and communities and spearheaded efforts to ensure North Carolina’s citizens have access to first-class early childhood education and public schools across the state.
Barbara Goodmon began her career as a pediatric nurse in Memphis, Tennessee. After moving to North Carolina, she dedicated herself to civic and social change through decades of community engagement, board service, and philanthropy. A passionate believer in community building and supporting the less fortunate, Barbara has served as president of A.J. Fletcher Foundation since 2003 and served as the Foundation’s executive director from 2003-2012. Through her work at the Foundation, Barbara has promoted collaboration and capacity-building in the arts, education, and non-profit sector. Barbara currently serves as President and Board Member of The Fletcher Academy, a school dedicated to serving students with learning differences, and has previously served on the Meredith College Board of Trustees, North Carolina State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board, University of North Carolina School of Social Work Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Board of Trustees, and the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, amongst many others.
Over the nearly 40 years that Goodmon has led Capitol Broadcasting Company, he has become a media industry leader with award-winning local programming. Jim’s passion, however, far exceeds the impressive reach of his TV and radio empire with which so many are familiar.. Jim is ultimately driven by his devotion to his community, to his commitment to the public good and to empowering those who work with him to exceed their potential.
When it comes to public education in North Carolina, Jim’s leadership has been invaluable. As the first chairman of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, he led efforts to establish the Smart Start program to expand early childhood education opportunities for pre-school children in North Carolina and improve the standards for day care and other pre-school programs. In the last 25 years, the share of children in top-quality pre-school programs (4 and 5-star programs) has increased from 33 percent to 74 percent.
Along with Barbara and through the work of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, Jim provides support for an education reporting fellowship through the UNC School of Media and Journalism as well as support for up-to-date broadcast labs for the school. The CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship Program also provides college seniors pursuing broadcasting careers with intensive hands-on experience in WRAL’s newsroom. At the UNC School of the Arts, the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute is a training program for exceptional young singers and collaborative pianists that offers highly personalized and in depth training for graduate and undergraduate students. Capitol Broadcasting Company also supports education reporting and programming on WRAL-TV that endeavors to a shine a light on important education policy issues in North Carolina, including the Forum’s weekly television show, Education Matters.
In October, 2018, Jim was awarded the Dr. Robert E. Bridges Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given by WakeEd Partnership during their Annual Stars of Education event. In WakeEd’s 35-year history, Jim is only the fifth recipient of this prestigious award.
Of course, Jim’s vision and commitment to progress is not limited to education. His leadership roles in community organizations and his dedication to revitalizing struggling North Carolina towns are exemplary. He currently serves as chairman of the Dix Park Conservancy, a private organization that provides support and research for the development of a 308-acre park in downtown Raleigh. And part and parcel to Capitol Broadcasting Company’s ownership of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team has been its development of the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, both of which have served as catalysts to the revival of downtown Durham. Similarly, the company’s development of the Rocky Mount Mills is helping bring life back to downtown Rocky Mount.
Jim’s efforts on behalf of his profession and community have not gone unrecognized. In 2008, he and Barbara were inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame and in 2006 received the national Public Television Leadership Award for their support of public broadcasting. Jim was the Raleigh News & Observer’s 2003 “Tar Heel of the Year,” and in 2000 he was awarded the North Carolina Award for Public Service – the highest recognition the state confers.
Goodmon served in the U.S. Navy, attended Duke University and received honorary degrees from Peace University, Pfeiffer College and Duke University. He was recently recognized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during their 2018 Commencement.
Information about this year’s event, as well as previous award recipients, can be found at ncforum.org/events/jay-robinson-education-leadership-award. Event tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-jay-robinson-education-leadership-award-gala-tickets-57607878716.
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About the Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award
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.
About the Public School Forum of North Carolina
Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at https://www.ncforum.org/.