Community Action Plan Winners

Community Action Plan Grant Winners

In February 2014, more than 1,300 people gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center and another 1,200 tuned in online to discuss how we can support world-class teachers in North Carolina. In the six weeks following the discussion, many participated in IEI’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC-Ed), World Class Teaching, to learn more and see what they could do in their communities about this issue. Now that this online course is over, it is time for North Carolina to act.

Over the course of last month, the Institute for Emerging Issues extended a challenge to North Carolina: How can we train, retain, and support world-class teachers in North Carolina’s local communities? 

The Belk Foundation made this challenge possible, and the winning teams were eligible to win up to $17,500. After issuing this challenge, communities from the mountains, piedmont and the coast responded with world-class ideas.

What is the Challenge?

How can we train, retain, and support world-class teachers in North Carolina’s local communities?

A good teacher can be the difference between a child graduating from high school or dropping out, understanding content or memorizing information, and growing up to earn a decent salary or not. Good teachers shape students for life outside the classroom, making them well-rounded citizens with a capacity–and often a desire–for lifelong learning. Without highly effective educators, North Carolina’s students will be ill-prepared for meaningful, well-paying careers, and North Carolina runs the risk of operating without a globally competitive workforce.

Community Action Plans that are feasible, innovative and collaborative were eligible to receive up to $17,500 in funding for their idea.

The IEI Community Action Plan grant process is designed to stimulate community level action that supports the development of a world-class teaching workforce.

Applicants and Winners

Head over to the Emerging Issues Commons to see all of the great applicants and how they plan to train, retain, and support world-class teachers in their North Carolina community.

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Thirty-two teams from 30 counties across North Carolina entered for their chance to win $17,500 through the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) and the Belk Foundation.

Congratulations to our Winners!


First Place: Greene County Schools – Communication and Cultural Awareness

Juan Castillo – Assistant Principal Greene Central High School

Second Place: Catawba County Schools – Real Life Issues: PBL Development

Dr. Carol Moore – K12 Science Curriculum Specialist

Third Place: Lee County Schools – Take the Lead

Patricia Coldren – Beginning Teacher Coordinator

Judging Criteria

In general, each entry was judged using the following criteria:

Impact on North Carolina’s Teaching Workforce – How much of an impact will the Community Action Plan have on educator quality in your community?
Clarity and Feasibility of Plan – How clear is the Community Action Plan that you have proposed, and how feasible would it be to enact?
Collaboration – Does this plan catalyze action among others to assist your community’s educators?
Budget– Does this plan effectively use the grant money?
With the goal of encouraging community collaboration, to be considered for the award, teams are required to include at least one educator, one school administrator and one community member.

IEI’s panel of judges chose the final winner(s) based on very competitive criteria.


Glenn Kleiman, Executive Director, The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation


Leslie Ann Jackson, Director of Grants and Scholarships, NC Community Foundation


Brenda Berg, President and CEO, BEST NC


WAnt to get involved?

Interested in these ideas? Want to learn how to support teachers in your community?
Use IEI’s Guide to Action to work on a plan of your own.
For additional information, contact our Education Policy Manager, Kendall Hageman.