In November of 1986, the Pitt County Educational Foundation was incorporated. A Board of Directors, composed of local business and civic leaders, was organized in July of 1987, and Kenneth Dews was elected the first chairman. Thomas L. Edwards, Lawrence L. Seigler, H. L. Stephenson, III, and James F. Hopf have followed Mr. Dews as chairman. Also at that time, Betty Speir was employed as Executive Director. Frances Young assumed the role of Executive Director in 1991 when Ms. Speir retired from Pitt County Schools.
At its inception, the goal of the new organization was to enhance the services provided by the community to Pitt County Schools. The initial effort of the group to raise funds proved to be successful and over $100,000 was pledged for an endowment and has since grown to over $1 million. In addition, each of the five (now six) attendance areas of Pitt County Schools raised funds to be distributed for minigrants to teachers for classroom projects. Other projects which were implemented included a Teacher Executive Institute, an annual art competition, health scholarships and numerous monetary and scholastic awards. Large grants were received from the Perkins Foundation, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Belk, Inc., Margaret B. Harvey, Gay and Erskine Love Foundation and Lance Foundation to fund the initial endeavors of the Foundation.
With the direction and support of six superintendents, Dr. Edwin L. West, Jr., Dr. Emmett M. Floyd, Dr. Howard L. Sosne, Dr. Michael D. Priddy, Dr. Beverly R. Emory, and Dr. Ethan Lenker, the Foundation has experienced steady growth and provided services of value to teachers and students of Pitt County Schools.