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Ann Goodnight to receive Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Annual Education Leadership Award

RALEIGH, NC (March 8, 2018) – Ann Goodnight was named today as the recipient of the 2018 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. The Forum established the award in 2000 to recognize leaders who have demonstrated innovative, creative, effective leadership for public education in North Carolina. Mrs. Goodnight will be honored at a gala event on Monday, May 21, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

“Ann Goodnight’s commitment to North Carolina’s children and to serving our state in so many meaningful ways made her an ideal choice for this honor,” said Michael Priddy, Chairman of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “Her deep commitment to the entire education continuum, from early childhood to K-12 to higher education, really sets her apart – a commitment she backs up with both her time and investments. She’s a model for what giving back and servant leadership looks like.”

As Senior Director of Community Relations, Goodnight guides the strategic direction of SAS’ corporate community involvement.  More than 25 years ago, she and her husband, SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, chose education as the primary focus of SAS’ outreach and community support, and her name has been synonymous with education ever since.  

Mrs. Goodnight is a trustee at North Carolina State University and is a member of the National Advisory Board for the university’s William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. She served on the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System from 2007 to 2015.  In 2008, she and her husband founded the Goodnight Scholars Program at NC State. The program invests in students from middle-income families across North Carolina interested in studying STEM and STEM education. Recipients of the now $20,000 a year scholarship are selected with an emphasis on academic excellence, professional achievement and civic engagement.

An advocate for children and education, Mrs. Goodnight is a co-founder and board member of Cary Academy.  She serves on the boards of the YMCA of the Triangle, the NC Science Festival, and BEST NC. She is also a committee member for the newly formed My Future NC Commission, tasked to strengthen the P-18 education continuum for a stronger and more competitive North Carolina. As a community volunteer, Mrs. Goodnight serves on the board of directors of the Dix Park Conservancy, the GSK Foundation and the Foundation Board of the NC Museum of Art.

Information about this year’s event, as well as previous award recipients, can be found at Event tickets can be purchased here:

If you are interested in discussing a sponsorship, contact Lizzy Mottern at

About the Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award

The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Jay Robinson, one of our state’s most distinguished education leaders. His career spanned 50 years, beginning as a math teacher and basketball and football coach in Cabarrus County, becoming a school principal and later superintendent of schools in first Cabarrus and then Charlotte-Mecklenburg school systems. He served as vice president for public affairs and special projects for the University of North Carolina system and chaired the State Board of Education. He was also the first president of the Public School Forum and served as an Emeritus Member of the Board until his death in April 2000.

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.