2021 Friday Medal Will Honor EducationNC CEO and Editor-in-Chief Mebane Rash

Raleigh, N.C. — The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation has selected Mebane Rash, CEO and editor-in-chief at EducationNC, to receive its 2021 Friday Medal award. In addition to her leadership role at EducationNC, Rash is the immediate past president of the national Governmental Research Association and has won national awards for most distinguished research, outstanding policy achievement and most effective education of the public.

“We are delighted to honor Mebane Rash with the 2021 Friday Medal for her outstanding work through EdNC,” said Hiller A. Spires, Ph.D., Friday Institute executive director and associate dean in the NC State College of Education. “As a public intellectual in the field of education, Mebane has provided tremendous leadership during COVID by highlighting the work of educators and students in NC schools. Through the many competing stories, she and EdNC kept their eyes on the prize—what works for students.”

Rash has been nationally recognized as a leader by various organizations, from participating in the Aspen Executive Seminar on Leadership, Values and the Good Society to being one of 60 women from 25 countries invited to spend a week at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to study “Women and Power: Leadership in the New World.” She served on the inaugural Z. Smith Reynolds Leadership Council and was selected to be a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations, a fellowship for emerging leaders across North Carolina.

In recognition of the commitment of Bill and Ida Friday to educational excellence, the Friday Medal honors significant, distinguished and enduring contributions to education through advocating for innovation, advancing education and imparting inspiration. This award is given annually to selected individuals who embody the mission and spirit of the Friday Institute. 

“The Friday Medal this year is about all of us, as I think Bill and Ida Friday would want it to be,” said Rash. “Collectively the education community statewide breathed life into the ‘architecture of participation’ that we imagined to tell the stories of all of you who day in and day out define our state and the character of it. You innovate and inspire with our students in mind. You trust us. You welcome us. You invite us into your classrooms and your schools, into your communities and your lives. We listen. We learn. Being in relationship with all of you allows us to connect practice to policy, allows your lived realities to shape the future not just of education but of this state we love and call home.”

Rash is the 15th recipient of the Friday Medal. The 2021 Friday Medal ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 18, 2021, from 4-5 p.m. EST.

Register for this year’s ceremony here.

Click here to learn more about the award and to view past recipients.

The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation brings together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to lead the transition to next-generation education systems that will prepare students for success in the digital-age world. It conducts research, develops educational resources, provides professional development programs for educators, advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policymaking. The Friday Institute is a part of the NC State College of Education. Visit fi.ncsu.edu to learn more.