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Meet our 2008 Co-Chairs


Linda Harrill,
President/CEO Communities In Schools North Carolina

Dr Eric Finkelstein photo

I am very pleased to be asked to honorary co-chair for the summit. This is a very important event that will bring agencies, organizations and individuals together to focus on the important needs of our children, youth and families. When we all come together to collaborate, share and learn from each other we can have a much greater impact on the lives and future of our children, youth and their families. NC has some outstanding leaders in the field of youth and family development and this summit will showcase many of those of leaders as they share with participants and learn together how to make NC a better place to be a child and raise a child. Please mark this important event on your calendars, we need you!!

Biographical Profile

President/CEO Communities In Schools North Carolina

As President and CEO of Communities In Schools of NC (CISNC) for over fifteen years, Linda Harrill has many years of experience and a deep passion for helping children and youth. In her role leading CISNC, Linda oversees the replication of the CIS process across the state, works with North Carolina business leaders, establishes state-level and national partnerships to benefit local affiliates, and maintains relationships with other non-profits, agencies and the legislature.

Linda inspires community action through speeches, training and consultation. Linda serves on the national CIS Committee for Quality & Standards and is serving as an educational consultant to NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. She serves on numerous boards and councils including the National Mentoring Partnership Public Policy Board, America's Promise Advisory Council, North Carolina Character Ed Council, Leadership Team for Reading First, NC Family Literacy Commission, NC High School Reform Task Force, Advisory council for 21st Century Learning Centers, and the North Carolina Council for After School Programs. She coordinates the North Carolina Mentoring Council and is the state contact for NC Promise (America’s Promise in North Carolina) for the Office of the Governor within the Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service where she also co-chairs the state service learning committee. In 1992 Linda received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the state’s highest civilian honors, for her contribution to education in the state.

Linda has a BS degree in Social Studies and History from Radford University in Virginia a Masters of Education in Special Education (BEH) and Education Administration from North Carolina State University and has completed doctoral studies at NC State in Curriculum and Instruction/Educational Administration with certifications in educational administration and curriculum. She began her career in education by teaching at both the middle and high school levels. Linda also served as a training coordinator for Adolescent Special Education Projects and an instructor at North Carolina State University and supervised student teachers.

Howard N. Lee, NC State Board of Education:

Dr Eric Finkelstein photo

It is indeed an honor and a privilege to serve as Co-chair of the 2008 North Carolina Summit on Youth and Families. In my role with formal education here in North Carolina, I see on a daily basis, the critical need for professionals and volunteers from our state's myriad communities and organizations to work together to improve the quality of life for our youth and families. I challenge you to join me and my colleagues in education at the 2008 NC Summit so that we may, together, work to strengthen and sustain the leadership, advocacy and collaboration necessary to create a brighter future for North Carolina's youth and families. - Chairman Howard N. Lee, NC State Board of Education

Biographical Profile

Chairman, North Carolina State Board of Education
Member, North Carolina Utilities Commission

Howard Nathaniel Lee, born July 28, 1934, grew up on a sharecropper’s farm in Lithonia, Georgia. He graduated from Bruce High School in 1953. He attended Fort Valley State College in Georgia where he received a BA degree in Sociology in 1959. In August 1959, he was drafted and served two years in the United States Army; spending more than one year in Korea. After being honorably discharged from active duty in 1961, he worked three years as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Savannah, Georgia. In 1964, he enrolled in the graduate School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina and received his Master’s Degree in 1966.

In 1969, elected and served three terms (1975) as Mayor of Chapel Hill. In 1976, he was a candidate for Lt. Governor, but lost in a bitter and contentious second primary run-off election. In 1977, Governor Jim Hunt appointed him Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, a cabinet-level post he held until 1981. Among numerous achievements, he initiated a “Mountains to the Sea Hiking Trail”, which stretches from the North Carolina Mountains to the coast.

1966-1975, Lee served as an administrator at Duke University and on the faculty at North Carolina Central University. 1982-1991, he was a member of the School of Social Work faculty at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has lectured at numerous universities throughout the South and Nation. Lee has contributed chapters to several books and has publishedarticles in many professional publications. He has recently released several inspirational writings, entitled: “I Am A Teacher”, “Twelve Strategies for Leaders” and “The Black Man’s Journey.”

In 1990, Lee was elected to the North Carolina Senate where he served for 13 years. During his tenure he held several powerful committee chairmanships; presiding over education, transportation and Appropriations Committees. In the NC Senate, Lee built his reputation as a fighter for education reform. He fought for higher teacher salaries, increased funding for public and higher education and advocated for raising teacher and student standards. In addition, he sponsored or co-sponsored several major pieces of educational legislation which included Smart Start, More at Four (a Pre-kindergarten program), the Excellent Schools Act for school reform, and the Safe Schools Act.

Howard Lee has been a successful entrepreneur. In addition to his position as Chairman of The NC State Board Education, he is a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. His favorite hobbies include golf, tennis, singing, and creative writing. Howard and his wife Lillian, a retired public school teacher, live in Chapel Hill and are the proud parents of three grown children (Angela, Ricky and Karin) and two granddaughters (Jaimie and Jill).