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.

HICKORY, NC – The K-64 Board has selected Mark Story to serve as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective September 1, 2017.

As CEO, Story will lead and manage the overall administrative and operational activities of K-64 and work with the K-64 Board to help prepare students in Catawba County for careers in a global economy and to create a highly qualified talent pipeline for future workforce and economic growth. This includes providing highly complex support to the K-64 Board, subcommittees and partners; developing and executing K-64’s strategic plan and budget to achieve measurable outcomes; and representing K-64’s interests across both private and public sectors and within the community at large.

Story was recommended for hire by a selection committee comprised of K-64 Board members Robyn Mingle, Sheree Watson, Dr. Matt Stover and Dr. Garrett Hinshaw. From more than 40 applications, the committee vetted 23 qualified applicants and selected six to participate in a rigorous interview process before identifying Story as the top candidate.

Story brings significant education and business experience to the role of CEO. Story joins K-64 after spending four years as the director of Career Technical Education (CTE) for Catawba County Schools, where he grew the program into one of the most successful in North Carolina by placing more than 700 students in local work-based learning opportunities and leading students to obtain more than 1,000 industry-standard credentials annually.

Story’s education experience is grounded in instructional technology and includes teaching at the K-12 and community college levels as well as serving on program advisory committees for several collegiate curriculum programs. His business background includes extensive work in software and business development before launching a local technology business with national reach. After successfully selling that business, Story turned his focus to education full-time.

“Our selection committee determined that the ideal candidate would be someone with both business and education experience, and a good number of applicants met that criteria,” said Watson. “We went into this without any preconceived notions about who might best fill this role, and it was a highly competitive process with several outstanding candidates. In the end, Mark stood out as the candidate with the vision and knowledge needed to successfully bring K-64 together.”

“The K-64 initiative needs a CEO who not only has the right background, but also has the entrepreneurial zeal to make things happen,” said Mingle. “Mark has tremendous drive and passion, as demonstrated through his experience and grounding in the community as well as his interest in seeing K-64 succeed. These leadership qualities are what helped set Mark apart as the right candidate for this role.”

The K-64 CEO position is fully funded by K-64 and managed by Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) under the direction of Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, CVCC President. The CEO’s office will be located at CVCC.

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