OUTSTANDING STATE GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Giving troubled high school youth a second chance and teaching them life skills needed to be productive citizens is what the North Carolina Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy is about.
When Col. Edward Timmons started as Director of the Academy he inherited a program that was crumbling at its foundation. It had failed to meet its graduation requirement for the previous 18 years; the grounds and facilities of the program were falling apart; the technological resources were inadequate to meet 21st century academic needs; and the program was facing the possibility of being shut down.
Undaunted, Col. Timmons approached these problems with the same vigor and tactical mindset that he had developed in the Army. Col. Timmons managed to take a strategic approach to completing all of the much-needed repairs of the facility so that none of the academic functions of the program would be disrupted during the process. Going beyond the cosmetic changes, Col. Timmons also ensured that the facility’s security was updated by adding cameras and a perimeter fence.
Col. Timmons changed much more than the physical facility. His focused leadership helped increase the previously low morale of those who administer the program, which in turn increased the quality of the student experience. Col. Timmons’s efforts have proven successful as he managed to recover overdue reimbursements in excess of $90,000 in child nutrition funds. The State of North Carolina has saved an estimated $18.3 million in youth incarceration costs during his tenure.
Overall, Col. Timmons has brought about dramatic improvement to the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy, and in doing so, has played a central role in strengthening North Carolina families and providing educational opportunities for at-risk students who might never have had the opportunities otherwise.
*Article as it appears on North Carolina Office of State Human Resources