It all started with a phone call! When principal Mark Nixon received a call in October of 2005 from East Meck 1973 alumnus Bob Silver, he never dreamed what would result from that conversation. Bob felt that East Meck and teachers Gene Morgan and Barbara Ledford had a profound impact on him and contributed greatly to his success. He wanted to give back to his alma mater. Bob pledged $500,000 as a matching grant to support the All Star Teacher Initiative, an innovative program designed to attract great teachers and help them in the classrooms at East Meck.
The East Mecklenburg High School Foundation was subsequently established in the summer of 2006 to manage all contributed funds and oversee the fundraising effort and the initiative. East Meck parent, Frank Reed, was named Chair of the fundraising campaign. Sonja Gantt ‘83 and Moira Quinn ‘73 were named Honorary Chairs. From February 2006 through January 2007 the silent phase of the campaign took place. To kick start the public announcement of our campaign we held a successful luncheon on February of 2007. With 500 people in attendance, $265,000 was raised in one hour. By September 2007 we had raised $500,000 to match Bob Silver’s initial gift.
Due to the enormous success of the All Star Teach Initiative, the Foundation Board voted to continue raising funds so that this program will continue well into the future.
Our combined hope is that alumni, parents and friends of East Mecklenburg High School will continue supporting this precedent-setting initiative for many years to come. As a testament to the Foundation’s success, several other high schools in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System are also establishing High School Foundations.