Wendy Poteat

Wendy Poteat

GREENSBORO Say Yes Guilford has named nonprofit leader Wendy Poteat as its new chief executive officer.

Poteat most recently led The Forsyth Promise, an organization trying to rally the Forsyth County community and its various stakeholders to increase local students’ attainment of educational milestones. Those include childhood literacy, third-grade reading proficiency, eighth-grade math proficiency, high school graduation and ACT test proficiency, college enrollment and college graduation.

After living in Guilford County and working in Forsyth, Poteat said she’s ready for a change of focus. She has three sons, two of whom are Guilford County Schools graduates and one of whom is a rising high school freshman.

“I was interested in getting back to the community I live in and trying to make some impacts,” she said in an interview with the News & Record Tuesday.

Poteat has also previously worked for the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and Greensboro Partnership. She has a bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, which she attended after first studying at N.C. A&T for three years.

She also is the author of “Own Your Truth: Living Life According to Your Own Truth and Your Own Terms.”

Say Yes Guilford is a local nonprofit organization with ties to the national, New York-based, nonprofit Say Yes to Education. It offers scholarships to qualifying Guilford County Schools graduates and has this school year begun coordinating support for students in 12 Guilford County Schools.

“Wendy has the background, skills and drive to lead Say Yes Guilford as we work with Guilford County Schools to build a system to support students and their families on their path to college and a career,” said Mindy Oakley, the co-chairwoman of Say Yes Guilford’s board, in a news release. “We are thrilled to have Wendy on the Say Yes team.”

Poteat also stressed the importance of lining up Say Yes Guilford’s efforts with the goals of the Guilford County Schools, while also aligning with other community stakeholders.

“I think a community is successful when we all recognize what we want the outcomes to be,” she said. From there, she said, it’s possible to move in a positive direction.

She starts work on June 3.

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Contact Jessie Pounds at 336-373-7002 and follow @JessiePounds on Twitter.

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