State Board of Education
The North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) is responsible for “supervising and administering the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support.” Board members include the Lieutenant Governor, the State Treasurer, and 11 other members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature in joint session. Eight of the eleven Board members appointed by the Governor represent each of the state’s eight education regions, and three are at-large appointees. The eleven gubernatorial appointees serve eight-year terms; the two ex-officio members’ terms coincide with the term of their respective offices. The policies developed by the North Carolina State Board of Education set the direction for all aspects of Department of Public Instruction and local public school organization and operations.
The Board is also served by seven advisors (non-voting), as specified in General Statute. They include a local superintendent appointed by the Governor, the NC Principal of the Year, the Raleigh Dingman award winner (local board member), two NC Teachers of the Year (each serving a two-year term), and two high school students (a high school junior and a high school senior, each serving a two-year term beginning in the junior year).
After serving a term as a Member of the United States Congress in the mid 1980’s, Bill Cobey joined the administration of Governor James G. Martin, first as Deputy Secretary of NC Department of Transportation and then as Secretary of the Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources.
Bill’s past experience includes management consulting, municipal management, federal government relations consulting and athletic administration. He is a former athletic director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2005 until 2012, he served on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors that governs Reagan National and Dulles Airports.
Currently, Bill serves as a member of the Governor’s Education Cabinet and as a Board member of the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) and NC Education and Workforce Innovation Commission.
He received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Emory University, an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Health and Physical Education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Term expires: March 31, 2019
Eric Davis was appointed as an at-large member of the NC State Board of Education in January 2015. He graduated 9th in the Class of 1983 from the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He served as an Airborne Ranger combat engineer officer in the US Army and is a professional engineer in North Carolina. Davis was elected to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education representing District 5 in 2009 and served as chair from 2009 to 2011. Davis currently serves on the Kenan Fellows Program Board and the Anne Springs Close Greenway Board of Managers. He has served as chair of the City of Charlotte Privatization/Competition Advisory Committee and the CMS Bond Oversight Committee, and as a member of the US Green Building Advisory Council Charlotte Chapter, the CMS Superintendent's Standards Review Committee and the Community Link Strategic Planning Committee. He was elected Vice Chair of the State Board of Education at the April 2018 meeting. Davis is a Charlotte native who attended CMS and Lincoln County schools, and, with his wife, Adrienne, has two daughters, both of whom attended CMS schools.
Term expires: March 31, 2021
Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest is a registered architect. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Raleigh with their four children, ages 7 to 19. After receiving two degrees from the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC), Dan became a leader in the business community having served as Office President and Senior Partner of the state's largest architectural, firm Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.
Dan remains active in his community and church, and he is the founder and former president of the Triangle Leadership Forum. He is also a former member of the Heritage Foundations™ Presidents Club and previously served on the NC Community Board for Heritage. He is the former chairman of the board of the Wake Forest Pregnancy Support Services. Dan enjoys coaching youth sports and has coached numerous football, baseball, and basketball teams in Raleigh. In his spare time, he enjoys anything that includes spending time with his wife and children.
Term expires with term of office
Elected in November 2016, Dale Folwell is the state's 28th popularly-elected Treasurer. As the state's fiscal advisor, he oversees more than $90 billion in state investments. He serves on the State Board of Education as an ex officio member. Treasurer Folwell has enjoyed a successful career as a financial advisor and has also served in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Term expires with term of office.
Rebecca "Becky" Taylor has worked in the field of education for more than 35 years. She began her career as a special education teacher, serving students identified with learning and behavioral disabilities. Taylor was selected by East Carolina University (ECU) to pilot an innovative, hands-on Science curriculum with middle school students. She also taught in the Department of Special Education at East Carolina where she supervised student teachers. She currently owns and operates five Sylvan Learning Center franchises in eastern North Carolina.
Term expires: March 31, 2019
Reginald Kenan was appointed to the State Board of Education by Governor Beverly Perdue in 2009 to fill the District 2 seat for southeastern North Carolina. Mr. Kenan lives in Rose Hill, North Carolina, and practices law in his native Duplin County. He has served as a member of the Duplin County School Board since 1989. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Guilford College and his juris doctorate from Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. He is active in church and civic activities in Duplin County, where he has lived all of his life.
Term expires: March 31, 2017
Dr. Olivia Oxendine has an extensive record in public education teaching reading, social studies, and English in three states; directing curricular programs at the central office level; serving as a school administrator in elementary and middle grades; and directing state-level programs in dropout prevention, the NC DARE program, school nursing, and school social work. In South Carolina and North Carolina, she has served on numerous committees established to improve K-12 writing instruction.
Dr. Oxendine holds degrees from UNC Pembroke, Appalachian State University, and UNC Greensboro. While working at the Department of Public Instruction in the late nineties, Dr. 0xendine completed two school reform institutes on the campuses of Stanford University and the Yale Child Study Center. Her leadership in and advocacy for school-family-community engagement in public schools earned her a special citation signed by the author. visionary, and child psychiatrist Dr. James P. Comer, Director of the School Development Program at the Yale Child Study Center.
Dr. Oxendine's special research in school segregation from teachers' perspectives has been presented to many audiences at the state and national levels, including oral historians at the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Dr. Oxendine teaches school leadership courses at the University of North Carolina Pembroke.
Term expires: March 31, 2021
Greg Alcorn was appointed by Governor McCrory in 2013 (serving the Southwest Region). He serves as chairperson for the Business, Finance and Advocacy committee, also known as the 21st Century Systems committee. He is a resident of Rowan County where he is founder and CEO of Global Contact Services (GCS).
Alcorn’s business experience and commitment to technology were two reasons for his appointment. He is focused on using process improvements to achieve efficiency without compromising the human touch. Since 2001, Global Contact Services has provided outsourcing, management and consulting mostly for customer service departments. His business models for large scale deployment of systems and people may prove helpful when the board considers statewide programs.
He is a graduate of Salisbury High School, Catawba College and has his MBA from UNC-Charlotte. He has served on Catawba College Board of Trustees for over a decade and has served on several committees including Finance, Enrollment, Audit, Chief’s Club and two Presidential Search teams. He was selected Alumnus of the Year in 2010. He also served as board member for ten years and board chair for three years at K-8 Salisbury Academy.
In addition to his commitment to education, Alcorn remains active in several community initiatives. He is past chair and serves on the board of United Church Homes and Services, past board member of Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society, current board member of Families First, Salisbury Community Foundation, Boy Scouts (awarded Silver Beaver, 2010) and ongoing church committees.
His wife of 22 years, Missie, is a business owner in Salisbury. They have two children, Clark at UNC-Chapel Hill and Eleanor, a senior at Salisbury High School.
Term Expires: March 31, 2019.
Term expires: March 31, 2023
Wayne McDevitt has served on the North Carolina State Board of Education since 2001, including serving as the Board's Vice Chairman from 2007 to 2013. As Vice Chair, he served on the Executive Committee and as an ex-officio member of the Board's standing committees. Additionally, he has chaired numerous Board special committees, blue ribbon commissions, and task forces. His long-term advocacy for children and education includes, among others, past service on the boards of NC Partnership for Children/Smart Start, NC Parent Teacher Association, Baptist Children's Homes and the boards of trustees of two universities.
McDevitt is currently engaged in several business, entrepreneurial, and consulting ventures that he began following his 2006 retirement from state government. His government experiences included serving as Senior Vice President for University Affairs for the 16-campus consolidated University of North Carolina system and serving as Senior Vice Chancellor at his Alma Mater, the University of North Carolina-Asheville where he graduated with distinction in Political Science in 1975. Before joining UNC-Asheville, he served as Chief of Staff to former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. He previously served on the Governor's Cabinet as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He has received numerous recognitions and awards for policy initiatives, as well as management and leadership successes. Spanning over four decades, McDevitt has served on the boards of business, education, economic development, conservation, church, arts, civic, community, nonprofit, foundation, and government organizations. His extensive record in public service led the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper on December 31, 1999, to recognize him as "one of Western North Carolina's 50 most influential people of the 20th century" stating that "he always uses his positions to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians."
McDevitt currently also serves on the boards of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, Western North Carolina Economic Development Commission (AdvantageWest), North Carolina Center for International Understanding, Vagabond School of Drama (The State Theatre of North Carolina), and several task forces/committees on education, economic development, and health care.
He has been married to Walda since 1972. They have two adult children, Nicholas and Kasey.
Term expires: March 31, 2017
Patricia Nickens (Tricia) Willoughby was appointed to a second term on the State Board of Education by Governor Bev Perdue in May 2009. Ms. Willoughby formerly served as an elementary classroom teacher and as a member of the School of Education faculty at Meredith College where she was director of the elementary education program. She received her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master's degree in education from Meredith College. Willoughby served as State Superintendent of the NC Department of Public Instruction and also as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a non-profit whose focus was creating collaboration among business leaders, policy makers and K-12 educators. Willoughby chairs the Healthy Responsible Students Committee of the State Board of Education and currently works as an education consultant.
Term expires March 31, 2017.
Mark Johnson was elected as the North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November 2016. He grew up in Lousiana, attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, for his undergraduate degree, and later attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he earned his Juris Doctorate. He also taught school for two years as a Teach for America teacher at West Charlotte High School. A resident of Forsyth County, he has also served as a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board. His most recent employment was as counsel at a Forsyth County IT company.
Jason Griffin currently serves as an advisor on the State Board of Education as part of his duties as the NC Wells Fargo Principal of the Year. He is the principal at Hertford Grammar School in Perquimans County.
He is a three-time graduate of East Carolina University and graduate of Elizabeth City State University. Griffin was a classroom teacher for ten years and earned Teacher of the Year honors in both Martin and Perquimans County. He believes that all students can be successful through personalized learning. His school has adopted the motto, “Personalizing the Bus” where the goal is for each student to achieve academic and personal excellence.
Griffin will serve on the board for the 2017-2018 school year while fulfilling his responsibilities with Wells Fargo and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Lisa Godwin is the North Carolina Teacher of the Year for 2017. She lives at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, and is an educator with the Onslow County School District.
Lisa has viewed public education through many different lenses, giving her the unique perspective and ability to be an informed and conscientious voice for the education community. She began her education journey in 1997 with the Lee County School District as an instructional assistant and bus driver. Upon entering the classroom, she knew that education was her life’s purpose and went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Andrews Presbyterian College. After teaching for several years, she obtained her Master of School Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as an assistant principal in Lee County for 2 years and then 2 more years with the Onslow County School District before deciding to find her joy again by returning to the classroom. She joined the Dixon Elementary Family in 2013 where she continues to teach and lead. She is married to Rocky, who owns 50 South Surf Shop in Surf City, and has 25 year old twin sons.