Nominate School Hero for a $10,000 award

South Macon Elementary

A program is under way to recognize and honor N.C. School Heroes – those who help students achieve their dreams – with awards of $10,000 to 10 School Heroes and $10,000 to their schools. The N.C. Education Lottery created the program as part of its support of public education in North Carolina and to help raise awareness of how the money raised by the lottery benefits the state. “Every school has their heroes,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Every day they stop at nothing to help our students achieve their dreams. This year, we’re proud to offer to North Carolinians a chance to say, in a big collective way, thanks for all of what they do.” The web site,, allows people to post a story about their School Hero and a photo and then vote on the ones they like the best. North Carolinians have until March 31 to post a nomination or vote on their favorites. More than 1,300 nominations have already been posted at the N.C. School Heroes website, with at least one from 86 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Many more are expected over the coming weeks. Thousands of votes already have been cast for the most popular School Hero stories. Money raised by the lottery assists many of those School Heroes, including $385 million this year that supports the work of school support staff such as office assistants and custodians. This year additional money raised by the lottery is helping to build and repair schools, supporting the N.C. Pre-K program for at-risk four-year-olds, providing college scholarships and grants based on financial need, and supporting school transportation. As North Carolinians share their School Hero stories, they can discover on the website how money raised by the lottery benefits their own communities. All 100 counties of the state get support for education programs from money raised by the lottery. Last year, the lottery raised more than $670 million for public education. “It’s important for the mission of the lottery that North Carolinians can see and understand how lottery money is used,” said Michalko. “To help get that information to the public, we created the School Heroes campaign. Along the way, we get to spotlight the work of a lot of good people in our schools.”