Alcorn: Business experience will come in handy on state board of education
SALISBURY — Gregory Alcorn says he hopes to use his business experience to bring something new to the State Board of Education.
Alcorn, a Salisbury resident, was one of three people appointed to the board Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory. He is founder and CEO of Global Contact Services, an outsourcing provider of call centers, and a former president of SOMAR Inc. in Salisbury.
“I’m honored, pleasantly surprised and humbled, and now I’m ready to learn and serve,” Alcorn said.
The N.C. State Board of Education is charged with supervising and administering the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support. It includes the lieutenant governor, state treasurer and 11 members appointed by the governor.
Alcorn has been assigned to the subcommittee on innovation, which will hold its first meeting Wednesday in Raleigh. The full board meets Thursday.
He said the governor was looking for board members that review new opportunities and technological developments in education.
But innovation isn’t just about technology, he said.
“It could be different processes, different organizational structures or other things we do in business that maybe we can apply to education,” Alcorn said. “ ‘Thinking outside the box’ is the way Gov. McCrory told it to me.”
Alcorn and McCrory attended school together at Catawba College. Both now serve on Catawba’s board of trustees. In more recent years, Alcorn said McCrory has been an informal advisor to his company.
Alcorn also is a former chair of the board of trustees of Salisbury Academy, a private school that his two children attended before going to public school at Salisbury High.
Alcorn said he has no other experience in the field of education, so he isn’t sure yet what he wants to accomplish.
“I just want to be able to learn as much as I can before I serve,” he said. “I’ve got no personal agenda — no secret weapon in mind. I’m just ready to roll up my sleeves and do the best I can to be part of what I understand is a terrific group.”
McCrory also appointed Bill Cobey of Durham and Becky Taylor of Greenville to the state’s policy-making board for the public schools. The three will serve terms through March 2019.Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.