New CMS building to be named for Dr. Chris Folk, late Covenant member
Note: A building dedication is Tuesday, April 18 at 10:30 a.m., with the program to begin at 11 in the first floor lobby of the CMS Education Center, 4421 Stuart Andrew Boulevard.
Please RSVP to Arlene Spyhalsky at 980-343-6227 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The school board recently named the CMS administrative campus on Stuart Andrew Boulevard for the late Chris Folk, a faithful Covenant member who worked for CMS from 1955 to 1992. Dr. Folk's wife, Mitzi, and two of his sons, Bob and Mark, are longtime Covenant members. Click here to read a recent Observer article on the occasion.
The honor is shared with the late Libby Randolph, the first black woman promoted to CMS central offices. We asked Mark Folk to share his family's thoughts.
Those were not easy times for our city. Desegregation divided many in our community and led to school fights, angry meetings and bomb threats, including one at our house. After the school board fired the superintendent during a televised meeting in 1976, my father along with Libby Randolph and two other administrators led the school district for about a year before a new superintendent was hired.
As my mother, Mitzi, and members of the Folk family listened to remarks from Superintendent Clark and members of the board, we could not help but remember how much my father loved CMS. During his career, Dad always put the needs of children first and sought to maximize academic achievement for every student. He was involved in several historic decisions, including the consolidation of city and county schools in 1959 and school desegregation in the early 1970s.
Perhaps school board member Ruby Jones said it best: “Ms. Randolph was a black woman and Dr. Folk a white man. Yet these two represented the linchpin of living out the CMS mission and vision to be the best school district anywhere. They helped make Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools rightfully become premiere while the world was watching. They helped shape my generation on what excellence in education is.”