Hubert B. Humphrey, Jr. School Improvement Award

Mrs. Jackie Humphrey and Superintendent Sharon Contreras present Principal Jim Gibson the award at the Greensboro Chamber's State of Our Community Luncheon held Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler for Guilford County Schools

Mrs. Jackie Humphrey and Superintendent Sharon Contreras present Principal Jim Gibson the award at the Greensboro Chamber's State of Our Community Luncheon held Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler for Guilford County Schools

This award is named in honor and in memory of the life and contributions of one of Guilford County’s, and North Carolina’s, most remarkable citizens – Hubert B. Humphrey, Jr. Hugh Humphrey was an exceptional lawyer, civic leader and public servant, as demonstrated by earning the accolade as one of the Best Lawyers in America; having served in both the NC House and Senate; and having been a member and chair of both the Board of Trustees at Wake Forest University and UNC-Greensboro.

Mr. Humphrey was also a notable philanthropist. He served as a trustee and legal counsel of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for more than 20 years. He was noted for his striking compassion for those less fortunate, his sincere commitment to making life better for others and his passion for and dedication to improving educational opportunities for each child. In fact, it was his deep personal interest and love for public education that was the hallmark of his service at the Foundation and that led trustees of the Foundation to create, with his family’s approval, this tribute to Mr. Humphrey’s incredible life. It is the hope of the Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation that the people of this state and community will always remember and be inspired by the life and contributions of Mr. Humphrey and that this award will serve as a reminder of him and all he did.

This Award is not just an effort of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Instead, it is a partnership with the community. At the forefront of the partnership is the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro who manages the endowment provided by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and oversees the Award selection and recognition process. Guilford County Schools staff analyze the 10 data points for each applicant. The chair of the Guilford County Board of Education and Mrs. Jackie Humphrey demonstrate their faithfulness and dedication to education by serving on the award selection committee.

It is the goal of the award to recognize the most improved school and, thus, to encourage the constant drive to excellence that Mr. Humphrey so long encouraged in all of us.

The award winner receives a check in the amount of $10,000 to be used to strengthen and develop the entire staff of the school. The winner’s name is also inscribed on the Hugh Humphrey cup, and the winning school will have the right to display the cup on its campus until next year’s winner is announced. On the occasion that two schools receive the honor, the award funds and right to display the cup are shared equally between the two schools. 

Hubert Humphrey Award Winners

Year* School(s)

2005 - Northeast High School

2006 - High Point Central and Page High School

2007 - Eastern Guilford High School

2008 - Smith High School

2009 - Northeast High School

2010 - Northeast High School and Smith High School

2011 - Northern High School

2012 - Andrews High School

2013 - Page High School

2014 - Southern Guilford High School

2015 - James B. Dudley High School

2016 - Eastern Guilford High School

2017 - Southwest Guilford High School

2018 - Ragsdale High School

*The application process for the Humphrey Award begins in the fall. The year indicated on this page refers to the Fall of the application year. The actual award presentation and funds may be provided during the next calendar year (or at the next available significant event). For example, Northern High School is listed as the 2011 award winner and received their funds in Spring 2012.

Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2018

We hope you will enjoy learning more about the Foundation’s work and that it will spark a conversation with our team on helping you meet your philanthropic goals.

Apprenticeship Community Event - Guilford Apprenticeship Partners

Apprenticeship Community Event - Guilford Apprenticeship Partners

Guilford Apprenticeship Partners invite high school students, parents of high schools, potential GAP business partners, and anybody who would like to learn more about GAP and apprenticeships available in Guilford County to Community Night on Monday, November 19th at 6:00 pm.

Report to the Community 2017-2018

Report to the Community 2017-2018

We hope you will enjoy learning more about the Foundation’s work and that it will spark a conversation with our team on helping you meet your philanthropic goals.

Degrees Matter!

Degrees Matter!

Degrees Matter! will provide one-on-one and group advising sessions to employees of business partners and members of the community directly on financial aid, financial literacy and FAFSA/scholarship assistance, academic assistance, getting "college-ready", applying for college, exploring careers, selecting the right college and enrolling in college.

Say Yes to Education Guilford

Say Yes to Education Guilford was formally announced on September 17, 2015. Guilford County vied with more than two dozen mid-sized cities and counties throughout the United States to become the next community partner of Say Yes to Education, Inc., a national nonprofit based in New York. Say Yes to Education Guilford seeks to help Guilford County Schools system students get the support they need to graduate from high school and be ready for post-secondary success. This support starts with the youngest learners and continues until students graduate from college or post-secondary programs. In addition, the program provides last-dollar tuition scholarships to Guilford County Schools graduates so they can afford to complete college or a postsecondary certificate.  As the program takes shape, Say Yes to Education Guilford will bring to a common table every major stakeholder in Guilford County with an interest in education, including representatives from throughout the Guilford County Schools, parents, students, government officials, labor and business leaders, philanthropists and faith-based organizations.  For more information, please visit  www.sayyesguilford.org  and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Say Yes to Education Guilford was formally announced on September 17, 2015. Guilford County vied with more than two dozen mid-sized cities and counties throughout the United States to become the next community partner of Say Yes to Education, Inc., a national nonprofit based in New York. Say Yes to Education Guilford seeks to help Guilford County Schools system students get the support they need to graduate from high school and be ready for post-secondary success. This support starts with the youngest learners and continues until students graduate from college or post-secondary programs. In addition, the program provides last-dollar tuition scholarships to Guilford County Schools graduates so they can afford to complete college or a postsecondary certificate.

As the program takes shape, Say Yes to Education Guilford will bring to a common table every major stakeholder in Guilford County with an interest in education, including representatives from throughout the Guilford County Schools, parents, students, government officials, labor and business leaders, philanthropists and faith-based organizations.

For more information, please visit www.sayyesguilford.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Guilford Education Alliance

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Guilford Education Alliance (GEA) was founded by community leadership from throughout Guilford County. Initially funded through collaboration of The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the High Point Community Foundation and the Cemala Foundation, GEA’s base of support has grown to include hundreds of businesses, philanthropic partners and community members.   With a focus on advocacy, information and quality community programming, GEA program activities have included an annual Education Summit and Education Matters report, STEM Fellows, Principal for a Day, On Stage!, Education Leadership Academy, community & legislative forums, Rookie & Mentor Teacher of the Year and scholarly reports on Teacher Working Conditions, Youth Risk Behavior, Diversity in our Schools, and School Readiness.   GEA also operates the Teacher Supply Warehouse which provides free classroom supplies to Guilford County Schools teachers.

In early 2013 leaders from GEA, and two other community based initiatives, Businesses for Excellence in Education and AchieveGuilford, began meeting with key leaders of Guilford County Schools to discuss closer collaboration between the organizations that could yield greater educational success for the community. By the fall of 2013, the group mapped out a merger of the three that would preserve the strengths of each and provide a more streamlined, focused and high impact organization.   Governing bodies of the three organizations endorsed the plan, the intent to merge was announced at the annual Education Summit in November and by the end of December the three came together in a restructuring of GEA.

Bringing the community engagement, program and advocacy strength of GEA together with the strategic funding capacity of BEE and the collective impact initiatives of AchieveGuilford, the updated organization amplifies the work the community can do to provide the strongest opportunity for students to succeed in public education and beyond. Together we can:

  • Invest significant resources in strategic GCS initiatives;  
  • Energize community and business leaders and build a base for advocacy in support of public education, through programs and activities that provide engagement and facilitate understanding;
  • Connect business, community and education leaders;
  • Mobilize community groups and businesses to focus on activities and programs that help students and teachers achieve educational goals.