North Carolina Legislators Convene with Experts to Engage in Education Policy Discussions

March 22, 2021

Cary, NC – In partnership with The Hunt Institute, North Carolina Senators Deanna Ballard, Don Davis, and Michael Lee, and Representative Ashton Clemmons are hosting the 2021 Holshouser Legislators Retreat on March 21 and 22 in Cary, North Carolina. Over the course of the two days, the Retreat will provide opportunities for legislators to engage virtually or in person in constructive conversations with leading experts and practitioners from across North Carolina and the country, as well as legislative leaders from the North Carolina General Assembly.

Retreat co-chair Senator Deanna Ballard shared, “The Holshouser Legislators Retreat provides legislators with research that will inform our understanding of current topics in education as we work to support students and teachers across North Carolina.”

The Retreat will begin Sunday afternoon with policy sessions on health, well-being, and readiness in early childhood, evidence-based literacy instruction, and use of longitudinal data systems to inform policy.

“I’m grateful to The Hunt Institute for offering this important opportunity for legislators to come together and discuss best practices in serving students across North Carolina,” said Retreat co-chair and current Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow Representative Ashton Clemmons.

The Retreat will continue Monday as members hear an update on myFutureNC from President and CEO Cecilia Holden. Legislators will then engage in sessions on engaging adult learners as part of statewide efforts to increase postsecondary attainment, and a professional perspectives session with Kisha Clemmons, North Carolina Principal of the Year, Maureen Stover, North Carolina Teacher of the Year, and Dr. Scott Elliot, Superintendent of Watauga County Schools.

The Retreat will conclude with an armchair discussion on access to sound basic education with The Hunt Institute President & CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President Peter Hans of the UNC System, President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System, Superintendent Catherine Truitt of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and President Hope Williams with North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Retreat co-chair Senator Don Davis said, “It is critical that legislators hear from experts in research and practice to deepen our understanding of best practices in education, from early learning through higher education.”

Through a series of panel policy discussions, legislators will also hear from a variety of resource experts and education leaders from across the state and country including:

  • Kymyona Burk, Policy Director for Early Education, Excel in Ed
  • Lisa Chapman, President, Central Carolina Community College
  • John Correllus, Deputy State CIO, CDO, and Director, North Carolina Government Data Analytics Center
  • Dennis Davis, Associate Professor – Literacy Education, North Carolina State University
  • Jessica Englert, Policy Director, Office of the Governor
  • Eric Fotheringham, Director of Community College Partnerships & Adult Learner Initiatives, UNC System
  • Algie Gatewood, President, Alamance Community College
  • Anthony Graham, Provost, Winston-Salem State University
  • Mike Krause, Senior Advisor, Bradley
  • Maria Layne-Stevens, President & CEO, Guilford Child Development
  • Lam Pham, Assistant Professor – Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, North Carolina State University
  • Susan Perry, Deputy Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Katie Rosanbalm, Senior Research Scientist, Duke University


“The Hunt Institute’s commitment to providing policymakers with access to experts and learning opportunities on current topics in education is a benefit to North Carolina, its students, and its families,” said Retreat co-chair Senator Michael Lee.

“We are immensely grateful for the leadership and support of our co-chairs in putting together this year’s retreat as we take on the many challenges that COVID-19 has presented to our education system,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “By providing policymakers from across North Carolina this dedicated time to engage in critical conversations with resource experts and each other, we hope to see positive impacts on public education in our state.”




About The Hunt Institute

An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since it was established in 2001, the Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success.

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