Skip to main content
Login to CatLink
Future Students

Apply online or check the status of your Admissions application:

Admission Portal

Catawba College is closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and will provide ongoing updates at
UPDATED: 3/31/20 - 11:28 a.m.

Phil Kirk Named Chair of North Carolina Public School Forum

June 30, 2008

Category: Business & Economics, Teacher Education


Kirk ;

Phil Kirk, vice president for external relations at Catawba College and longtime state education leader, has been named the sixth chair of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, a not-for-profit policy think tank that has made significant contributions to the advancement of North Carolina schools. Kirk will become the organization's volunteer leader on July 1, succeeding N.C. Sen. Katie Dorsett.

Kirk served six years as chairman of the State Board of Education and five years as vice-chairman of the State Board of Community Colleges. He also was the president and CEO of the former North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry (NCCBI), now known as the N.C. Chamber.

"I am excited about this opportunity to continue to influence public education policies," Kirk said. "We need to provide a seamless system of education across all systems and institutions. The Public School Forum has a history of providing leadership on key educational issues, and I intend to advance the Forum in the role. Everything we do should be based on what is best for the students, even if we have to take unpopular positions."

The Public School Forum of North Carolina is composed of approximately 45 representatives from elementary, middle and high schools; public and private colleges and universities; community colleges; elected officials; nonprofit educational groups; and the business community. The Forum remains committed to educational excellence and works together to make North Carolina's public schools second to none.

"The Forum has been blessed with strong leaders who are passionate about giving all of North Carolina's young people a decent education," said John Dornan, executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. "We have worked closely with Phil Kirk throughout his career including in his capacity as chair of the State Board of Education and in his role as president of NCCBI. During that time, Phil was tireless in his advocacy for education, heading up major bond initiatives and leading the implementation of the state's ABCs accountability program. He is known and respected by elected officials, business leaders and educators, and will continue the Forum's tradition of strong, caring board chairs."

Previous Forum chairs include: former N.C. Sen. Gerry Hancock; former state Transportation Secretary and Mayor of Raleigh and Baldhead Island Tom Bradshaw; President of the NC Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center Sam Houston; and former Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Executive Director Tom Lambeth.

About Phil Kirk:
Phil Kirk is the Vice President for External Relations at Catawba College in Salisbury and owner of a speaking and consulting firm. In 1970, Phil was elected as the youngest state senator in North Carolina. In 1989, Phil became president of North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry (NCCBI) and was consistently ranked among the top 25 most effective N.C. lobbyists. As politician, government official, president of NCCBI and chairman of the State Board of Education, Phil has delivered more than 6,000 talks. For more information or to book a speaking engagement, visit or e-mail

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina:
The Public School Forum of NC is a not-for-profit policy think tank which is a partnership of business, education and government leaders in North Carolina. Since its foundation in 1985, the Forum has evolved into an organization that has made a significant contribution to schools across North Carolina. In addition to research and work in the public policy arena, the Forum oversees programs in communities across the state. The organization most recently created a network of 20 elementary and middle school programs that offer young people the hourly equivalent of 80 additional days of school, and another network of high schools that have introduced hands-on technology training into their curriculums. The Forum also began a new leadership development program for school administrators this year. For more information, visit




« Return to Previous