An Educated Work Force

New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties feature dynamic public and private education choices. The three school districts collectively operate 78 schools with grades K-12.

Learn more about the school districts and their rankings: NHC Schools Report Cards

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

The Cape Fear region continues to set the bar for cities across the state for the design and implementation of innovative programs and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) based learning. We are dedicated to providing students with a STEM education as it creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and generates innovation, leading to new products and processes that sustain our economy.

New Hanover County Schools are the only district in the state to have two STEM-based schools: Rachel Freeman School of Engineering and Gregory School of Science, Mathematics, and Technology. The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s Cape Fear Future initiative started the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program at Trask Middle School in New Hanover County in 2013. Project Lead the Way is a STEM-based curriculum that incorporates engineering, robotics, aerospace and other STEM-related courses. The elective curriculum is offered to students in middle and high school. After beginning the program at Trask, CFF funded PLTW for sixth-eighth grade students. The program introduces them to engineering, robotics, computer modeling, and energy. The program was so well received that the school system expanded it to an additional school and is exploring expanding it to all area middle schools. PLTW has been cited by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a “model for 21st century career and technical education.”

STEM Resource

Cape Fear Future (CFF) and the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Watson School of Education (WSE) partnered to develop a new website that outlines available STEM programs across the region. This tool is a wonderful resource for students, parents and teachers seeking STEM-related camps, contests, classes, and more.

Visit the site:

The objective of Leadership Wilmington is to educate, challenge and motivate leaders and future leaders to utilize their leadership skills to work for the betterment of our community. There are five components that will be stressed throughout the program. They are:

  • Leadership skills/styles
  • Community issues and challenges
  • Dynamics of regional social and economic change
  • Diversity
  • Class project

The ten-month program consists of eight all-day sessions, an orientation social, a two-day retreat to begin the program, Work On Wilmington, and a graduation ceremony. The all-day sessions occur once a month from September through April. To complete the program successfully, each class member is expected to participate in the orientation/social, retreat, all monthly program sessions, Work On Wilmington and graduation. Participants must make a serious commitment to the program and employers must agree in advance to grant participants time off from their duties to attend all scheduled activities.

Man fixing a light fixture

The application deadline for the 2018 Class of Leadership Wilmington is June 30, 2017. Participants will be sought from corporate, business, education, professional, non-profit and governmental sectors. A maximum of 35 participants for the class will be chosen which will reflect the diversity of our community. During the selection process, each candidate’s leadership potential, community involvement and accomplishments will be reviewed.


The tuition per participant is $1,600. Tuition covers all expenses for the program. An application fee of $25.00 must accompany each application. Application fee is non-refundable.

Click here for an application

Schedule for Leadership Wilmington Class of 2018-19

  • August 9, 2018: Orientation/Alumni Award/Social
  • August 23-24, 2018: Class Retreat, Fort Caswell, Oak Island, NC
  • September 18, 2018: Session 1 – Arts/History/Culture
  • October 16, 2018: Session 2 – Environment
  • November 13, 2018: Session 3 – Education
  • December 11, 2018: Session 4 – Human Services
  • January 15, 2019: Session 5 – Infrastructure
  • February 12, 2019: Session 6 – Crime & Punishment
  • March 12, 2019: Session 7 – Growth & Development
  • April 2, 2019: Session 8 – Politics & Government
  • April 27, 2019: Work On Wilmington
  • May 13, 2019 (tentative): Graduation Ceremony
Please note: Each regular session will be all day (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). The Orientation/Alumni Award Ceremony will be scheduled from 4:00-7:00 p.m., on Thursday, August 9, 2018. The class Retreat will encompass two full days and will require an overnight stay. The Retreat is MANDATORY for all class members. The Retreat will be on Thursday-Friday, August 23-24, 2018. Session 8 (Politics & Government) will include dinner at City Hall with the City Council, followed by attendance at the City Council meeting at 6:30 pm. This meeting is on the first Tuesday, and will be in keeping with City Council’s meeting schedule. Other special called meetings regarding the Work On Wilmington class project may be necessary.

Contact Information

Co-Director Faye Dunaway
910.762.2611 ext. 211 |

Co-Director Scott Czechlewski
910.762.2611 ext. 216 |


The mission of the Leadership Wilmington Alumni Association is to provide a resource for all graduates, as well as the Wilmington business and service communities. The association strives to continue offering professional development opportunities for its membership, and to marry the talent from the alumni association with the volunteer needs of the business and service communities, event committee members and board appointments.

Additionally, our intent is to hold networking events throughout the year to bring alumni together and to provide ongoing interaction with one another.

To Join

If you are a Leadership Wilmington Alumni and would like to join the association, please contact Faye Dunaway ( or Scott Czechlewski ( This information will allow us to communicate upcoming Alumni Association events and professional development opportunities that may be available in the community.

Karl Davis Alumni of the Year Award

Know a deserving graduate for the Alumni of the Year Award? Nominate them!

Nomination Form

Brunswick County JobReady Partnership


Cooperative Education Program (OJT) – Brunswick County Schools


Cooperative Education Program (OJT) – New Hanover County Schools


Cooperative Education Program (OJT) – Pender County

Pender County Schools

JobLink Career Center – Brunswick County

Employment Security Commission

JobLink Career Center – New Hanover County

Employment Security Commission

JobLink Career Center – Pender County

Employment Security Commission

Occupational Training Through CFCC

Online College Courses

Region “O” Council for the Advancement of Minorities in Engineering (ROCAME)

New Hanover County Schools

Calvary Christian School

423 N 23rd St.
Wilmington, NC 28405

Cape Fear Academy

3900 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28412

Coastal Christian High School

709 George Anderson Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28412

First Presbyterian Church Preschool & Kindergarten

125 South 3rd Street
Wilmington, NC 28401-4554

The Friends School of Wilmington, Inc.

Middle School (6th-8th)
350 Peiffer Avenue
Wilmington, N.C. 28409

Elementary & PreSchool (18 months – 5th)

207 Pine Grove Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

Myrtle Grove Christian School

806 Piner Road
Wilmington, NC 28409

New Horizons

3705 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28412

Pathways Middle & High School

3110 Randall Parkway
Wilmington, NC 28403

The Roger Bacon Academy

3610 Thaddeus Lott Lane, Leland, NC 28451

SACPC Preschool

1416 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

St. Mark Catholic School

1013 Eastwood Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

St. Mary Catholic School (K-8)

217 S. 4th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.762.5491 ext. 40

Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences

6201 Myrtle Grove Road
Wilmington, NC 28409

Wilmington Christian Academy

1401 North College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

Wilmington Country Day School

3114 Middle Sound Loop Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

Winter Park Preschool/Primary Day School

4501 Wrightsville Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28403

New Hanover County Public Schools

6410 Carolina Beach Road
Wilmington, NC 28412

Brunswick County Schools

35 Referendum Drive, NE
Bolivia, North Carolina 28422

Pender County Schools

925 Penderlea Highway
Burgaw, NC 28425

View ratings for all North Carolina schools at

Area Colleges and Universities

Brunswick Community College

50 College Road
Bolivia, NC 28422

Cape Fear Community College

411 N. Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401-3993

Miller-Motte Technical College

5000 Market Street

University of Mount Olive

1838 Sir Tyler Drive

Shaw University – Wilmington

224 North Front Street

University of North Carolina Wilmington

601 South College Road


The Wilmington Chamber Foundation partners with educational institutions and the business community to improve current and future workforce preparedness by:

  • communicating business needs to the educational community
  • facilitating educational and training solutions for workforce preparedness needs
  • developing programs for future leaders
  • identifying and implementing strategies to fund Foundation-approved programs


The Foundation exists primarily to support public K-12 education in New Hanover and Pender Counties. As such, its activities include:

  • fundraising for initiatives to improve public education
  • gathering input about education needs from business and the community via forums and other means
  • serving as the link between the public schools and the business community
  • conducting assessments/evaluations/accountability

Wilmington Chamber Foundation Board of Directors

Mitch Lamm, Chamber Foundation Chairman (First Citizens, Senior VP)
Chris Boney (LS3P Associates, Principal)
John Elliott (Duke Energy, Director, Government & Community Relations)
Natalie English (Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO)
John Gizdic (New Hanover Regional Medical Center, President & CEO)
Rob Kaiser (Greater Wilmington Business Journal, Publisher)
Hal Kitchin (McGuireWoods LLP, Partner)
Charlie Mattox (BB&T, Senior Vice President/Market President)
Tee Nunnelly (President, Coastal Beverage Co.)
Ted Shipley (Counsel, Live Oak Bank)
Randy Tomsic (Wells Fargo, Market President)