As the superintendent of Clinton city schools, Dr. Gene Hales has an important job to do. But nowhere in his job description is the word dancer, and that is just what he did to raise money for the school system.
He, along with other community leaders, participated in a Dancing with the Clinton Stars fundraiser to furnish every classroom with 21st century technology; a Smart Board. “As a public servant to these children, it’s my duty and our duty, responsibility to make sure that we do whatever it takes to provide these opportunity for these students and I think this is a part of the ‘whatever it takes’,” said Dr. Hales.
That was his most recent accomplishment for the schools. But a little more than two years ago, he led a community-wide effort to raise money to build the new Clinton High School after bids came in over budget. The effort was called March to a Million. “We had to raise 1.4 million dollars in 4 months,” Dr. Hales said. “It seemed like the greatest challenge we would ever have to face.”
That was a challenge Dr. Hales met head on with whopping results. “Before March, we raised 2.6 million dollars which helped fund an auditorium and a 9th grade gym at the new high school,” he described.
One way they were so successful; naming rights. Walk into the high-tech high school and you will see names on the auditorium, the auditorium seats and even the classrooms. “We are very excited,” Dr. Hales said. “Our community has been so great in helping us with those initiatives it’s just phenomenal what this community has done.”
While the schools might be tech savvy now, Dr. Hales is continually looking for ways to stay ahead of the game so students can achieve. “When you see the light bulbs come on for those children, when you go and see how successful they are in their classrooms and how successful they are – it’s just rewarding to see the students achieve.”
Monday morning, we will introduce you to one more Razor Walker Award winner.
All of this year’s Razor Walker Award recipients will be honored at a banquet Monday night at UNCW.