The panel of five Raleigh NC visitors at the front of the meeting room

Nov. 10, 2014

Rev. John Wilkinson speaking to the Nov. 10, 2014 audience
John Wilkinson, GS4A convener, delivers opening remarks November 10, 2014.

In April 2014, enabled by a grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, eleven people from GS4A traveled to Raleigh, N.C., to meet with over 75 community and school leaders. On November 10, 2014, five Raleigh leaders traveled to Rochester to participate in a day-long educational symposium, which attracted some 150 participants from a broad cross-section of the greater Rochester community.

The morning session opened with words of welcome from:

  • John Wilkinson, Convener of Great Schools for All, and pastor of host Third Presbyterian Church
  • Jennifer Leonard, President and CEO, Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Bolgen Vargas, Superintendent, Rochester City School District
  • Allen Williams, Director of Special Projects, City of Rochester

Dr. Kara Finnigan, Associate Professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, delivered the keynote address.

Finally, a panel discussion was held, made up of:

  • Bill Fletcher, member of the Wake County Board of Education
  • Kevin Hill, professor at North Carolina State and current Wake County Board of Education member
  • Christine Kushner, Chair of the Wake County Board of Education
  • Travis Mitchell, President and Executive Director, Communities in Schools Wake County
  • Steve Parrott, President of Wake Education Partnership

Symposium participants reconvened in the afternoon to brainstorm possible responses to the crisis of high poverty schools. The question participants were asked to consider was: How do we develop ideas that will lead to great education for all students in greater Rochester? They were asked to suggest ideas that could ease the concentration of poverty within the confines of the county’s current structure of 19 school districts.

You might also be interested in the following materials from the meeting:

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