James “Jim” and Barbara Goodmon were named Thursday as recipients of the 2019 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. The Forum established the award in 2000 to recognize leaders who have demonstrated innovative, creative and effective leadership for public education in North Carolina.
The couple will be honored at a gala event on May 30 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Jim Goodmon is chairman and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, WRAL’s parent company. Barbara Goodmon is president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. Together, they have spent decades finding innovative ways to meet their community’s needs, and public education has been at the top of their agenda, according to the Forum, which noted their efforts to ensure access to early childhood education and public schools across the state.
“Jim and Barbara Goodmon’s decades of leadership when it comes to promoting strong public schools and the public good in North Carolina is truly unparalleled,” Forum Chairman Tom Williams said in a statement. “We live in a state that has been blessed with strong business leaders and philanthropists who recognize that investing in our schools and our communities is not only good for business, but it’s the right thing to do. The Goodmons have dedicated their lives to both preserving and creating so many wonderful investments that North Carolinians can look forward to enjoying for generations to come.”
Barbara Goodmon began her career as a pediatric nurse in Memphis, Tenn. After moving to North Carolina, she dedicated herself to civic and social change through decades of community engagement, board service and philanthropy. She has served as president of A.J. Fletcher Foundation since 2003 and served as the foundation’s executive director from 2003-2012. Through her work at the foundation, she has promoted collaboration and capacity-building in the arts, education and nonprofit sector.
Barbara Goodmon currently serves as president and board member of The Fletcher Academy, a school dedicated to serving students with learning differences. She previously served on the Meredith College Board of Trustees, North Carolina State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board, University of North Carolina School of Social Work Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Board of Trustees and the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, among many others.
Jim Goodmon has led Capitol Broadcasting Company for nearly 40 years and “is ultimately driven by his devotion to his community, to his commitment to the public good and to empowering those who work with him to exceed their potential,” according to the Forum.
“When it comes to public education in North Carolina, Jim’s leadership has been invaluable,” Forum leaders said. “As the first chairman of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, he led efforts to establish the Smart Start program to expand early childhood education opportunities for pre-school children in North Carolina and improve the standards for day care and other pre-school programs. In the last 25 years, the share of children in top-quality pre-school programs (4 and 5-star programs) has increased from 33 percent to 74 percent.”
Along with his wife and through the work of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, Jim Goodmon provides support for an education reporting fellowship through the UNC School of Media and Journalism as well as support for up-to-date broadcast labs for the school. The CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship Program also provides college seniors pursuing broadcasting careers with intensive hands-on experience in WRAL’s newsroom.
At the UNC School of the Arts, the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute is a training program for exceptional young singers and collaborative pianists that offers highly personalized and in-depth training for graduate and undergraduate students. Capitol Broadcasting Company also supports education reporting and programming on WRAL-TV that endeavors to a shine a light on important education policy issues in North Carolina, including the Forum’s weekly television show, Education Matters.
In October, Jim Goodmon was awarded the Dr. Robert E. Bridges Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given by WakeEd Partnership during their Annual Stars of Education event. In WakeEd’s 35-year history, he is only the fifth recipient of the award.
“Of course, Jim’s vision and commitment to progress is not limited to education,” Forum leaders said. “His leadership roles in community organizations and his dedication to revitalizing struggling North Carolina towns is exemplary. He currently serves as chairman of the Dix Park Conservancy, a private organization that provides support and research for the development of a 308-acre park in downtown Raleigh. And part and parcel to Capitol Broadcasting Company’s ownership of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team has been its development of the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, both of which have served as catalysts to the revival of downtown Durham. Similarly, the company’s development of the Rocky Mount Mills is helping bring life back to downtown Rocky Mount.”
In 2008, the Goodmons were inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame and in 2006 received the national Public Television Leadership Award for their support of public broadcasting. Jim Goodmon was the Raleigh News & Observer’s 2003 “Tar Heel of the Year,” and in 2000 he was awarded the North Carolina Award for Public Service – the highest recognition the state confers.
Goodmon served in the U.S. Navy, attended Duke University and received honorary degrees from Peace University, Pfeiffer College and Duke University. He was recently recognized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 2018 commencement.
Thanks to WRAL.com for this capcom story & to the Public School Forum of NC for this capcom photo.