Executive Director’s Message


Hi!   I’m glad you’re here to visit our website and learn more about our Association!
Throughout my 20+ years in public education, there is one question that has shaped my decision-making more than any other: “What’s best for students?”    I’ve asked myself this question when making instructional decisions as a classroom teacher, when deciding on an appropriate student disciplinary consequence as an assistant principal, and now reflecting on the role of charter schools as the Executive Director for the NC Association for Public Charter Schools.    I’m not the only one raising this question.    Every charter school director I’ve met is interested in what’s best for students.   Although I don’t have all of the answers, I’ve discovered that the concept of unity can be a key component for student success.
Whether in the home, in the classroom, or in the school, young people cannot thrive in an atmosphere of disharmony.    As a classroom teacher, I noticed that the deepest learning occurred when the Science, Math, Social Studies, and English teachers came together to design a cross-curricular unit with a unifying theme.    Each subject-area teacher understood that his/her own learning objectives would be strengthened, and students would be the ultimate beneficiaries of this collaboration.    
If we truly wish to do what’s best for students, effective collaboration must also extend outside the charter school world.    The mindset of “us versus them,”  “charter schools versus public schools,” and “our students versus their students” further damages the potential for effective dialogue around best practices.  
Tackling the question of what’s best for students requires honesty and bravery.   There is no place for personal agendas when our children’s future is at stake.   Those who are willing to come together and build bridges will be the ones who make the greatest difference.    There is power in unity!

Yours for charter success,


Rhonda Dillingham

Executive Director
North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools
(336) 669-9996