Wake commissioner wins leadership award

Posted June 18, 2008 4:06 p.m. EDT

— Wake County Commissioner Kenn Gardner has won the 2008 County Courthouse Award by the National Association of Counties.

The award which is given to three commissioners each year for outstanding governance and strong leadership, includes a $5,000 scholarship that Gardner will present to a Wake County high school senior.

Gardner was selected for the award because of his efforts to help foster care children attend college and his dedication to environmental stewardship. In 2004, he created the Wake Investment Scholarship for Education foster care initiative, and more than $100,000 has been raised, enabling 30 percent of Wake County foster care graduates to attend college.

"I am humbled by this tremendous honor and am excited about sharing my foster care success story with the nation," Gardner said in a statement. "The scholarship from Siemens will change the life of foster care student forever. It's not just about the opportunity to learn, but the opportunity to change the entire direction of a young person's life."

Gardner will formally accept the honor during an awards ceremony at the NACo Conference in July in Kansas City, Mo.