Supporters of our children’s futures can celebrate today the selection of Dr. Michael J. Froning as the first executive director of the Birmingham Education Foundation. This is great news for the all-volunteer organization that received a multi-year grant of $260,000 in startup funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Birminghamso that an executive director could be hired.
BEF chair Fred McCallum praised the choice, citing Froning’s deep knowledge and passion for education. Froning recently retired as Dean of the School of Education at UAB, and has been part of the work of BEF since its beginnings in the Community Foundation’s grassroots initiative, Yes We Can! Birmingham.
As executive director, Froning will continue to build partnerships with people and organizations that care about Birmingham’s educational system. He also will raise funds to support the priority areas that grew out of the YWC!B Community Agreement adopted in 2008. These include, expanding Advanced Placement classes, enhancing career technical opportunities, increasing professional development for principals and increasing parental involvement.
That may sound like a tall order, but the 2,000 people who participated in creating the Community Agreement represent so many more who truly care about Birmingham City Schools and want to make sure that the children of Birmingham are prepared for success in work and life.