Wells Fargo Gives A+ $100,000 for KLN

The Alabama Best Practices Center’s Key Leaders Network recieved a $100,000 boost from Wells Fargo, which officially presented the check Oct. 4th at a news conference held during the KLN-Central meeting in Shelby County.

“Wells Fargo and its predecessor companies have been supporting our A+ for over 20 years, and helped launch its Key Leaders Network,” said Bill Smith, board member and co-founder of A+ Education Partnership, the home of the Alabama Best Practices Center. “Businesses like Wells Fargo are well aware of how important education is to the future of our state’s progress and economic strength. We are grateful to Wells Fargo for continuing to invest in a program that has shown remarkably progressive and encouraging results in Alabama’s schools.”
Sherlene McDonald, principal of Tarrant Elementary School — a high poverty school with more than 96% of their students living in poverty — believes the professional development provided by the Alabama Best Practices Center played a key role in the school’s outstanding success, as she shared during the news conference. Last year, 98% of the students met or exceeded standards in reading and 97% met or exceeded standards in math.

Alabama is one of the 45 states that adopted new standards to help students prepare academically for college and careers after high school graduation.  The Key Leaders Network is focused on helping school leaders effectively implement the new standards and rigorous curriculum.

A report released in mid-September by Achieve, a nonprofit, bipartisan education reform organization, clearly supports the idea that “only faithful implementation [of the new standards] can improve student achievement.” Therefore, the innovative and impactful professional development that the Key Leaders Network offers can go a long way in improving education.

“Alabama school and district leaders taking part in the Key Leaders Network are on the cutting edge of 21st century, student-centered learning as they work collaboratively to improve their schools,” said Cathy Gassenheimer, Executive Vice President for the Alabama Best Practices Center.  “Thanks to Wells Fargo’s generous donation and additional support over the years, we have been able to double the number of our Key Leaders Network districts across Alabama.”

The Key Leaders Network has 30 districts across Alabama; click here for a current list.

“Our schools face challenging times in today’s world and school leaders need professional development to become more effective,” said Paula Beck, Wells Fargo Southeast Community Affairs Manager.

“Through our long-term investment in A+ Education Partnership, we think the state will reap the benefits of more prepared students in the future.  Helping eliminate achievement gap in K-12 public education continues to be one of Wells Fargo’s primary focus areas.”

Click here for a Birmingham News article on the event.

Click here for a report from ABC 33/40 in Birmingham on the event.

Image above (L-R) Dr. Jeff Langham, Elmore County Superintendant and A+ Board member; Cathy Gassenheimer, Executive VP for ABPC; Paula Beck, Wells Fargo SE Community Affairs Manager; George Trible, Wells Fargo SE Area President; and Bill Smith, Board member and co-founder of A+ Education Partnership.