K-64 brings education, business, and government together to connect people of all ages with the skills needed to fill jobs and build careers in Catawba County.

NEWTON, NC – The Catawba County Board of Commissioners appointed 11 individuals to serve on the K-64 governing board, which was established to provide practical, executive leadership to the K-64 education initiative. The full board will be comprised of 12 members representing K-64’s founding partners and the local business sector.

The following individuals were appointed during the Commissioners’ May 15 meeting:

  • Larry Aiello, Jr., retired Corning Cable Systems LLC President & CEO, representing the Catawba Valley Community College Board of Trustees
  • David Brittain, IRS Enrolled Agent/Manager, Rita S. Brittain CPA, PA, representing the Catawba County Board of Education
  • Sherry Butler, Executive Director, The Green Room Community Theatre, representing the Catawba County Board of Commissioners
  • Mike Ellwanger, Director, Global Cable Product Development, Corning Optical Communications
  • Kimberly George, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Citizenship, Alex Lee, Inc.
  • Reginald Hamilton, Department of Corrections, representing the Hickory Board of Education
  • Jeanne Jarrett, Assistant Chief Financial Officer, Catawba County, representing the Newton-Conover Board of Education
  • Robyn Mingle, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, CommScope
  • Tony Rose, President & CEO, Catawba Valley Medical Center
  • Stephen Shuford, CEO, Shurtape Technologies LLC, representing the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors
  • Sheree Watson, CEO, Graystone Eye, representing the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

The Commissioners expect to make the final board appointment in the near future.

The K-64 board is responsible for establishing a long-term vision for K-64, which includes securing continuous financial support, transparency and accountability for the effective use of public funds; implementation of concrete plans with both tangible and timely goals and outcomes; direction to executive staff hired in conjunction with, and overseen by, the K-64 board; and communication and engagement resulting in continued buy-in by partner organizations and the community at large.

“The success of K-64 depends on direct engagement with our local business community,” said Randy Isenhower, Chair, Catawba County Board of Commissioners. “These charter members will help shape K-64 into a best-in-class program that enhances our education system and delivers real-world results for both students and local employers. They will begin this work with their first board meeting at the end of May.”

This announcement follows the Commissioners’ January 17 adoption of bylaws establishing the K-64 board and the March 22 formalization of the K-64 partnership among the initiative’s founding organizations: Catawba County Schools, Hickory Public Schools, Newton Conover City Schools, Catawba Valley Community College, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation and the Catawba County Board of Commissioners.

In addition to the formal board appointments, the following representatives from K-64’s founding organizations will serve as ex-officio, non-voting board members: Catawba Valley Community College President Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, Catawba County Schools Superintendent Dr. Matthew Stover, Hickory Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Robbie Adell, Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stegall, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Lindsay Keisler, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation President Scott Millar and Catawba County Manager Mick Berry.

K-64 is an education and economic development initiative that prepares students of all ages with the skills needed to compete in the global economy with a focus on six priority areas: 1-to-world technology, character development, tech-savvy educators, work-based learning, employer engagement, and career adaptability. The initiative builds on what’s already working in Catawba County by expanding and implementing model programs throughout the local education system in collaboration with local employers and community partners. K-64 is governed by a 12-member board of directors comprised of both private and public sector representatives and is managed by Catawba Valley Community College.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the K-64 board appointed at the May 15 Board of Commissioners meeting included (front row L-R) Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, Dr. Robbie Adell, Larry Aiello, Jr., Reginald Hamilton, Kimberly George, and Sheree Watson; and (back row L-R) Dr. Matt Stover, Mike Ellwanger, Lindsay Keisler, Robyn Mingle, Sherry Butler, Dr. David Stegall, Mick Berry and Scott Millar. Not pictured: David Brittain, Jeanne Jarrett, Tony Rose, and Stephen Shuford.

Media Contact: Amy McCauley, Communications & Marketing Director, (828) 465-8464, amccauley@catawbacountync.gov