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Dr. Marilyn Lee
Director
Phone: 910-862-4136
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Dr. Marilyn R. Lee brings to any institution or department a particularly distinguished career in federal, state, foundational and corporate grant funding, education and training, staff development, grant funding, partnership in business and industry, and leadership and inter-collaborative networking.  During her twenty-four years in the field, Dr. Lee has represented non-profits, private for profits, individuals, governments, agencies, school systems, colleges and universities throughout the country dealing with housing, healthcare, education and staff development, workforce, tribal government, construction, humanities and performing arts, Early College, Information Technology, New Schools Project High School Reform, Project IDEA 2 Academically-Gifted program K-12, start-ups and seed money projects, athletics and recreational, youth services, religion, environmental, biotechnology, technology, community development, research, drop out prevention and intervention, social services, child development and NC childcare, preschool and early childhood, agriculture, the disabled, veterans, mental health, literacy, substance abuse, public policy, minorities, economically disadvantaged, American Indian, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Alaska Native and inter-group collaboration, heritage and cultural, mentoring, apprenticeship, job shadowing, emergency and crisis intervention, transportation, labor and job placement, conservation, emergency funding, technical assistance funds, rural development, homeless, and pilot programs.

Dr. Lee is well versed in the arena of staff development for preschool, early childhood, elementary, and K-12 teacher training credits/coursework, parent education, collaborative networking, strategic planning, business plans, presentations and facilitations of funding, implementation, evaluation, replication, continuation and sustainability that are needed by many types of businesses such as childcare, pilot and transition programs. In addition to her significant expertise, Dr. Lee offers many workshops to the public and private sector (list on request).

Dr. Lee began her career in preschool and early childhood, with emphasis on Pre-K--6 education.  Dr. Lee started her first business in 1979 when she established and directed the Norwood Preschool Academy.  She was elected in 1980 as President of the Stanly Childcare Association (a ninety-seven childcare center membership) and held the office until 1995.  Dr. Lee was appointed as Chair of the NC Childcare Commission in Raleigh under both Governors J. Martin and J. Hunt.  During this time, the commission created and completed the NC Childcare Standards Manual. Following the manual, additional work was completed on the NC Childcare Credentialing I and II coursework and training requirements.  In 1990, she worked with Superintendent Dr. Ray Brayboy at the Wayne County School System and was instrumental in establishing two pilot programs for master teachers in preschool instruction and multi-age training as well as completing her training as a NC Mentor Trainer.  Dr. Lee worked closely with many childcare associations to establish staff development and parent education throughout the area while working in both Stanly and Wayne Counties.  One of the very first Smart Start Partnerships in NC was formed in Stanly County through the local childcare association and other government agencies.

Dr. Lee also obtained certifications and degrees from Stanly Community College, Pfeiffer University, Wingate University, UNC at Charlotte and Sarasota University. In 1998, she received her National Teacher's Board Certification in Early Childhood and holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction, PreK-Kindergarten through High School (Academically Gifted and Learning Disabled). 

In the past three years, Dr. Lee's track record for grant funding ranges at the $63+ million dollar mark.  Dr. Lee started grant writing for in the early 90's. Childcare centers located within Stanly and Wayne County worked with Dr. Lee to obtain grants for their centers.  The Wayne county school system under Dr. Brayboy's superintendency saw Workforce Development, Preschool Pilots, National Teacher Board, and other smaller grants flow into the district.  At this time, the Wayne County Board of Education agreed to send Dr. Lee for Grantmanship Training with Polaris International, one of the top grant trainers in the nation.  In 2000-2003, Dr. Lee worked with the Lumbee Tribal Council as research and grant consultant under Tribal Administrator Dr. Ruth Dial Woods which was awarded a leadership grant, housing funds and the first bank charter for Lumbee Native Americans.  Between the years of 2004-2006, under the tutelage of The Public Schools of Robeson County Superintendent Colin Armstrong, the first Grant Training Laboratory within a NC school system was created and supervised by Dr. Lee. During this time two Early College High School grants and one Information Technology High School grant (New Schools Project-Bill Gates Foundation) projects were awarded and The Funding Guide-Grants Quick Reference Manual was written for hard copy and on-line access through the new Grant Office website. Under Superintendent Hunt 2006-2007, Dr. Lee's work encompasses the IMPACT-Technology grant for $956,000, $2 million in Qualified Zone Academy Bonds for school repairs, and district wide retro fitting of 258 buses as well as school site based grants. Dr. Lee is currently serving on the Early College Team, New Schools Reform, and U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre's Educational Advisory Committee. Other strongly established programs have included the Boys and Girls Mentoring Program, Reading First, and Preschool and Shining Stars Childcare programs working with the Smart Start and More at Four Programs.

Dr. Lee has worked closely with the Congressional committees responsible for appropriating funds from the twenty-nine Departments of the government, and with state and local committees. Dr. Lee has established and created new pilot programs and prototypes dealing with preschool, early childhood, Federal Programs, K-12 education, early childhood staff development, private and public businesses, childcare centers, charter and pilot schools, minority programs, leadership forums, public engagement, technology initiatives, community, workforce and economic development.

Dr. Lee is the past founder/owner of Norwood Preschool Academy, The Institute of Collaborative Funding, Inc. and The Grant Institute, Inc. and she holds the position of Chief Executive Officer for The Infinite Degree, Inc. a non-profit Prek-adult educational and business based non-profit organization before selling the both businesses in order to work with Robeson County.  Between the years of 1968-1998, Dr. Lee worked closely in the local Stanly area community as a service/volunteer with the Baptist ministry in development of preschool and church after school programs. 

Dr. Lee's strengths are grant writing, strategic planning, project design, project implementation, networking and partnership building, Pre-K to adult public school education and school law, federal, state, local, foundation and corporate/business grants, public relations capabilities, flexible schedule, commitment to research, leadership skills, strong ability to work under pressure, organizational skills, staff development, communications, technology, fast learner, self-starter, progressive visionary, and strong traditional work ethics.

Educational background: Stanly Community College, Albemarle (Early Childhood), NC; Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC (Early Childhood), NC; Wingate University, Wingate, NC (Elementary Education K-6); University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC (Academically Gifted Pre-K-12 with Learning Disabled); University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, the University of Sarasota, Florida (transferred from UNC at Greensboro to Florida (E.D.D. in Curriculum and Instruction) and Duke University, Durham, NC (Non Profit Management Program).  Grant training: Polaris International, and The Grantsmanship Center. Dr. Lee is currently enrolled in Public Administration program (FTCC).