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.