"Making Innovation a Priority in NC Schools: Exploring Innovative Practices" conference.

See a recap of the successful conference, and visit the new platform at for sharing innovative practices.

We will:

  • Clarify different meanings of the term “innovation” within education and suggest terminology and best practices related to it
  • Learn how innovative programs and practices at the classroom, school and district level are engaging students and adults in meaningful and challenging learning
  • Collaborate in multi-perspective groups (educators, students, business reps, policy-makers) to develop an innovation focus to pitch to conference attendees
  • Identify next steps to making innovation a priority in our public schools.


Mebane Rash 
CEO of EdNC, award-winning multi-media journalism about education in NC

In collaboration with
UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

With special guests
Brenda Berg, President and CEO of BEST NC
Freebird McKinney, Burroughs Welcome Fund NC Teacher of the Year
Representative Craig Horn, NC General Assembly
James Ford, Southwest Education Region, State Board of Education
Tabari Wallace, NC Wells Fargo Principal of the Year

Date and location

Monday May 13, 2019
UNCW Watson College of Education
Room 162

Registration is closed.


This year’s Making Innovation a Priority in PreK-12 NC Schools Conference is a natural segue from last year’s conference. The overarching goals for last year were to bring together policy-makers, educators, and business representatives to identify innovations in NC schools along with the barriers to implementation and to build support for school improvement via innovation. This year’s conference will continue to build on the importance of creating an infrastructure to support innovation. The conference will also provide attendees more opportunities to interact with one another, to engage with and learn from presenters and innovators, and to collaborate in multi-perspective groups through design thinking processes. Participants will leave with plans to iterate and implement their innovation proposals with the support of a collaborative team.