The WJCC Schools Foundation named Kathleen Mullins president, making her the second president of the organization.
Dr. Mullins is a member of both the WJCC Schools Foundation and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra boards. Before retiring to Williamsburg in 2018, she served for four decades as president and CEO of historic estates and museums throughout the country, including Montpelier in Orange, Virginia.
Upon assuming the position, Mullins said that the changes facing public education, as well as the challenges facing schools and teachers, makes the work of groups supporting them like the WJCC Schools Foundation all the more important.
“I am a firm believer that when passion meets purpose, anything is possible,” Mullins explained. “It is our responsibility as a community to step up and say, ‘We value and respect your work. What can we do to lift you up in efforts to enhance student learning?’”
Mullins followed Clarence Wilson, who had held the role since the education foundation was formed in 2015. As the outgoing president, Wilson said he was proud of what had already been achieved by the group, and that he was leaving it in good hands.
“We started with nothing but a desire to serve the teachers and students of WJCC Schools, and I am proud to say that we have accomplished great things,” said Wilson. “Dr. Mullins’ experience as a nonprofit and community leader will be instrumental in elevating the work of the Foundation, and under Dr. Mullins’ leadership, we will continue to grow in our ability to support classroom learning through fundraising and the awarding of the Foundation’s Innovative Learning Grants.”
The WJCC Schools Foundation began as a grassroots community effort to provide resources to enrich learning for the young people of Williamsburg and James City County. Since 2015, the foundation has awarded more than $150,000 in teacher grants, giving out dozens every school year for projects ranging from 3D printers to outdoor classroom spaces.
In a statement, Dr. Olwen Herron, WJCC Schools Superintendent praised the work that Wilson and the foundation had done over the past four years to support local schools.
“Clarence Wilson has been the heart and soul of the WJCC Schools Foundation since its inception, and it has been an honor to work alongside him as he nurtured the fledgling Foundation into the powerful ally of public education that it is today,” said Herron, WJCC Schools Superintendent. “As a school division and as a community, we will be forever grateful for his organization, innovation and passion.”
To learn more about the WJCC Schools Foundation or to become involved, visit wjccschoolsfoundation.org.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email email@example.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.