While I have been blessed with many tremendous honors over the past half-century, none have come as a bigger surprise than a call from George Whitfield in Goldsboro to ask if I would accept induction into the George Whitfield Baseball Clinic Hall of Fame. I chuckled and told him that I was a terrible baseball player as well as in other sports. He responded that he sometimes inducted persons for public service accomplishments among the 20 or so who have been honored each year. There are nearly 500 men and women who are members of the Hall of Fame.
Mr. Phil Kirk made the presentation to Covington, the district’s current Teacher of the Year. The Kirk Scholarship covers the costs associated for a five-day seminar to NCCAT (NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching).
In 2006, the Development Foundation of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching honored Mr. Kirk for being one of North Carolina’s best-known advocates for education by establishing the scholarship fund. Mr. Kirk chose to present the scholarship each year to the Rowan-Salisbury Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Kirk is a native of Salisbury and a graduate of Catawba College. He began his career as a teacher at Salisbury High and Knox Middle schools before moving into the world of politics serving under two governors. Mr. Kirk served for more than six years as Chairman of the NC State Board of Education.
“Recognizing excellence in the classroom and publicizing the good news about public education, while advocating for continuous improvement, have been lifelong goals of mine,” says Kirk. “The awarding of this scholarship provides the Rowan-Salisbury Teacher of the Year an extraordinary experience at the nationally-renown North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, plus $250 to spend on her or his classroom. I am grateful to the nearly 100 contributors who made this annual scholarship possible.”
“We are so grateful to Phil for his continued dedication to education and especially to the Rowan-Salisbury Schools,” comments Dr. Lynn Moody, RSS Superintendent. “He graciously awards this opportunity each year to one of our teachers so they can continue to grow and offer a more enriched learning experience for our children. The words ‘thank you’ are just not enough to show our appreciation.”
This marks the ninth consecutive year that Kirk has provided this scholarship to a Rowan-Salisbury teacher. In addition to Covington, previous recipients include:
- Joy Whidden
- Julie Stolze
- Theresa Pierce
- Sakinah Riley
- Alex Reynolds
- Cassie Thompson
- Nancy Goodnight
- Anthony Johnson
Mr. Kirk currently serves as the Director of Business and Leadership Development for Brady Energy Services.
Chief of staff for two North Carolina governors and a U.S. senator, two-time chief of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources, the youngest state senator in North Carolina history at the time of his election, 16-year leader of the state’s chamber of commerce. He shared his assessments of those governors earlier this year during a presentation for the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. Kirk discussed the same topic with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.
Tonight Phil Kirk will be coming to East Carolina University to speak as a part of the Leadership Lecture Series hosted by the ECU Honors College.
Kirk is a political figure in North Carolina who has held many positions on boards and committees at universities and colleges in North Carolina and was the youngest person ever selected to the North Carolina Senate.
The front-page news story “ Tree.com payouts to McCrory questioned” on a stock payout to Gov. Pat McCrory is a new all-time low and smacks of biased reporting by The Associated Press. The headline and questionable sources seek to raise questions about the governor’s integrity for accepting money for work rendered before he was elected. The stock payout is 100 percent legal and acceptable per company policy.
Art Pope is to be commended for his many years of public service, especially for his 20 months as the state’s budget director.
When Gov. Pat McCrory wisely persuaded Art to assume the most important appointive position in state government, several asked my opinion, probably thinking I would be critical. I responded each time that the governor could not have found anyone who knew the budget, state government and the legislative process better. This was especially important because of the administration’s lack of experience in state government.
Catawba College Alumnus Phil Kirk ’67 was one of six individuals honored with the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor, in a ceremony held Nov. 21 in Durham. Kirk, a native of Rowan County who now makes his home in Raleigh, received the award for public service.
I am practically libertarian on limits on public service. Think it is good government for top legislative leaders to voluntarily limit themselves to two terms;however if their members want them to serve longer, they should have that right. Senate and House leaders must have same rules. Sen Sam Ervin once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to gubernatorial succession. I worked for two Governors, one could not succeed himself and other could. No comparison.
Phil Kirk has amassed a wealth of contacts as chief of staff for two former governors, head of the state’s chamber of commerce and as a leader of North Carolina’s public schools.
Greensboro-based Brady Services aims to leverage that experience as it builds its energy services business, a division that works with private businesses and public entities to create energy savings in buildings.
Phil Kirk, vice president of external relations for Catawba College and chairman emeritus of the State Board of Education, has been elected chair-elect of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. He will succeed Sen. Katie Dorsett of Guilford County as chair of the Raleigh-based organization.
The Public School Forum of North Carolina was organized more than 20 years ago to work for the improvement of public schools in the state. The board of directors is composed of representatives from business, education and government.