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Community Stakeholder Group Develops New Vision for School District

Over the last six months, the true meaning of community has been displayed throughout the process to develop the new vision for Craven County Schools through the work demonstrated by the Community Stakeholder Group. This passionate group of engaged and committed members of our community took the charge from the Board of Education to create an inclusive and representative vision for public education in Craven County. This vision will provide a north star, a compass, for the district's work over the next five years.

 Meeting facilitator, Mrs. Scottie Seawell, fostered a safe and open environment for participants to engage in dialogue about the future of public education in Craven County Schools. With over 50 stakeholders, this was, at times a complex and challenging process. Our community leaders rose above the individual perspectives in the room each month to move towards the highest shared values of our community for our students and our educators. They shared their dreams, aspirations, and ideas to create a vision for the future of Craven County Schools and also our county.

 The stakeholder team was comprised of individuals representing industry, small business, non-profit, government, elected officials, retail, higher education, parents, students, retirees, and many other sectors in our region. It was important to the Board of Education that our stakeholder group represent our entire county. The board began with a list well over 100 individuals and then had the equally difficult task of narrowing that list to a manageable number of individuals representing the diverse community that is Craven County.

 Ultimately, the Board of Education identified 62 members of the Community Stakeholder Group. Equally important was that this group be led by respected and dedicated members. As a result, a smaller, yet representative steering committee was selected consisting of General Tom Braaten, Pastor Brent Manning, and Chef Smoke Boyd.  The steering committee met before each meeting and after each stakeholder group meeting to discuss feedback from the group, opportunities for improvement, and celebrations going forward. The Board of Education is grateful for their direction in ensuring this process was successful.

 The heart of this community is invested in the success of public education, specifically Craven County Schools. This group has demonstrated its commitment to Craven County Schools by successfully creating a bold vision for public education in Craven County. Members of the Community Stakeholder group are part of a special, diverse group of stakeholders from across Craven County, who have been guided by a process of engaged discussion, community input, and strategic analysis, to develop a vision that reflects the goals and aspirations of the Craven County community.

 The Board of Education approved and adopted the new vision presented by the Community Stakeholder Group at the Board Meeting on June 19th, 2018. The new Craven County Schools vision will provide direction for the on-going work of the school system reflecting the community's values for public education. The vision has already begun to inform and guide the school system in its development of its strategic plan; its educational priorities and funding decisions.

 The new Craven County Schools vision:

 We envision a public education system that challenges all students as learners and prepares them to imagine and create a successful life; values educators and empowers them to inspire and spark innovation in every student; leads in education and community engagement; and invites all students, their families, and all members of the community to work together to support public education to the benefit of our students, our community, our nation and our world.