RALEIGH (February 7, 2024) – Blue Cross CEO Emeritus Brad Wilson has had a remarkable career in law, government, health care, academia and the nonprofit sector.
Wilson’s dad was a state trooper – and he occasionally was transferred as Brad made his way through school. So he experienced several North Carolina school systems – and came away appreciating his teachers.
Teachers who deserve more appreciation today.
“I am a product of the public school system in North Carolina. Everything that I have been able to do in my life, I can track directly back to my elementary, junior high, high school and collegiate experience,” Wilson says in the accompanying video.
“But for that, I would not have had the opportunities that I have had.”
The “technology” deployed by his 4th-grade teacher Mrs. Terrell in Lexington, Wilson says, involved a blackboard, a piece of chalk, a yardstick and multiple recitations of multiplication tables. Out loud.
“Now that was a lot of pressure, and I didn’t particularly appreciate it at the time. But I offer that as an example of the richness of experience and the ultimate result in substantive learning – in kind of a low-tech age – but yet it was highly successful,” he says.
WILSON ALSO RECOUNTS how his teachers at Millbrook High School in Raleigh challenged him with concepts that seemed “scary or afraid or hard,” yet also helped him conquer those fears.
“But for the fact that we had public education available, that would not have happened,” he says.
“So I would like to thank all of those – from Mrs. Sharp, who was my 1st-grade teacher at L.J. Bell Elementary School in Rockingham, NC, where I started my public education – all the way to Coach Bill Shirley at Millbrook High School here in Raleigh, and the wonderful teachers at Grimes School in Lexington, NC, where I passed through on my way to high school here in Raleigh.
“And to the teachers of today: Don’t ever underestimate the positive impact that you’re having on your students every day, in a multi-dimensional fashion.