Dr. Flood earns state accolades

Published 10:00 am Thursday, June 18, 2009

RALEIGH — On June 8, Dr. Dudley Flood, retired educator and consultant, was named the ninth recipient of the Jay Robinson Leadership Award given by the Public School Forum of NC.

The award honors the extraordinary leadership and service of Dr. Jay Robinson, former school superintendent, Vice President of the University System, Chair of the State Board of Education and first president of the Public School Forum.

A native of Hertford County, Dr. Flood served as a public school educator in North Carolina beginning in the 1950s.

He held positions as a teacher and principal before going to the NC Department of Public Instruction as Director of the Division of Human Relations and later Associate State Superintendent.

After retirement, he served as the Director of NC Association of School Administrators.

Dr. Flood has received many honors and awards. Currently, he is on the boards of the Marbles Museum Wake Education Partnership and was recently re-elected to a second term on the UNC Board of Governors. Dr. Elsie Leak, his nominator said of him, “For over 50 years, Dr. Flood has worked tirelessly for the rights of all children to receive an effective educational experience.

Dr. Flood’s efforts as a member of a team launched by the DPI during the years when the public schools were desegregating resulted in North Carolina being recognized nationally as having the most successful experience in desegregating schools in the nation.”

Dr. Robert Tyndall, Vice Chancellor UNC-Wilmington, wrote in his endorsement that “…Dr. Flood demonstrated a rare combination of extraordinary communication skills and compassion that allowed him to cross social and emotional boundaries that seemed impenetrable to others.”

Former Representative Gene Arnold, Chair of the Jay Robinson Leadership Award Committee, commented that Dr. Flood, like Jay Robinson, was deeply committed to helping all children achieve higher levels of performance. He said of Dr. Flood, “Dudley contributed to the safe and orderly integration of North Carolina’s public schools.

He and Dr. Gene Causby gave willingly of themselves to bring calm and stability to numerous communities throughout North Carolina overcoming many of the unknown challenges facing local school leaders. Jay would have been proud to know that one of his contemporaries received the award named for him.”

Phil Kirk, Chair of the Forum Board, added, “I had a special relationship with Jay. He was an advisor and a friend and I can only imagine how pleased he would be to know that Dr. Dudley Flood received the Forum most prestigious award in his honor. Dudley embodies all the best qualities of a true educational leader.

In addition to Dr. Flood, the other finalists for this year’s award were Dr. Neil Pedersen, Superintendent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools and Dr. Shirley Prince, Superintendent of Scotland County Schools. Prince and Pedersen are both former North Carolina Superintendents of the Year.

Dr. Pedersen was a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Prince will take over the helm of the NC Principals and Assistant Principals Association as Executive Director on July 1.

The award was created to honor Dr. Jay Robinson, a distinguished educator, Superintendent of Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools, UNC Vice-President, and former Chairman of the State Board of Education, best remembered as the architect of the state’s ABCs accountability plan.

The Public School Forum is especially grateful to BB&T for its sponsorship of $2,500 of the $5,000 cash award. BB&T is respected throughout North Carolina as an outstanding corporate partner in numerous endeavors to make the quality of life better for the citizens of the state.