Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $225,000 to the NC New Teacher Support Program

Posted : 7 March 2016

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Chapel Hill, NC (March 3, 2016) – Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation have awarded a grant to the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC GA) to support its NC New Teacher Support Program.

UNC General Administration has focused on the issue of teacher attrition and retention for the past 14 years. After developing research-based strategies to address teacher attrition at a statewide level, with the financial support of federal Race to the Top funds, in 2012, UNC GA launched the NC New Teacher Support Program – an intensive program aimed at creating more supports for teachers in their first three years who are serving in high-needs schools. The program is designed to improve the effectiveness of new teachers through support aligned to each teacher’s individual needs, teaching assignment, and school environment.

“Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between low performing schools and high rates of teacher attrition,” said Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, assistant director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “Adequate support for beginning teachers in their first three years plays a critical role in retaining qualified educators and in turn cultivating a strong public school system. We are proud to partner with UNC General Administration as it works to achieve its vision.” 

The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program has demonstrated success in supporting beginning teachers in the state’s high-need schools, improving student achievement in reading and math and reducing teacher attrition.

Funds from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation will provide additional beginning teachers in regions across North Carolina with intensive support as the school year begins, individualized coaching in the classroom, and aligned professional development.

Alisa Chapman, Vice President for Academic and University Programs at University of North Carolina noted, “As we work to address the state’s teacher shortage, there is no more important time to support cost-effective, research-based, and outcome-driven programs for North Carolina’s beginning teachers. We are grateful for the ongoing partnership of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in this work.”

On November 20, 2015, Trustees voted to approve 83 grants totaling $7.5 million to organizations across North Carolina.



The University of North Carolina is a public, multi-campus university dedicated to the service of North Carolina and its people. Its mission is to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society. The work of the Academic and University Programs Division and the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program are integral to achieving this mission and fulfilling the UNC system’s commitment to world-class teaching, research and scholarship, and outreach and service.


The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is committed to improving the quality of life of all North Carolinians. ZSR invests in statewide, regional and community-based organizations that are dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant state. The groups that ZSR supports both work to build healthy, robust communities at the local and regional level and engage in education, civic dialogue and advocacy around issues of importance to communities and to North Carolina. ZSR currently focuses on the areas of community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity and strengthening democracy. The Foundation is a 79-year-old private foundation based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For more information or to learn more about ZSR, visit