Cumberland superintendent wins leadership award

Posted June 11, 2008 2:59 p.m. EDT

— Cumberland County Schools Superintendent William C. Harrison has been named the eighth recipient of the Jay Robinson Leadership Award, which is given by the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

The award honors the leadership and service of Jay Robinson, a former school superintendent, vice president of the University of North Carolina system and chairman of the State Board of Education.

Harrison has served as a public school educator in North Carolina for more than 30 years and, as superintendent of Hoke County Schools, was instrumental in filing the "Leandro" lawsuit calling for more state support of poorer school districts.

"Knowing the implications of such a suit regardless of the outcome, he never backed down from the position that all children need a level playing field to have an equal chance at success,” State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee said in a statement.

Other finalists for the award included former Bill McNeal, a former Wake County school superintendent who serves as executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, and Bill Shore, director of U.S. Community Partnerships for GlaxoSmithKline.