What is the Western Region Education Service Alliance (WRESA)?

The concept of a collaborative began in the 1970s and has evolved from the Western Regional Education Center (WREC) to to what it is today, the Western Region Education Service Alliance (WRESA). WRESA is a collaborative that was created by WNC school systems in 1996-1997 under the direction of Dr. Roger Metcalf. Since 1998, all of the 18 school systems in Western North Carolina have been members of WRESA. In 2007, Dr. Jan Webster joined WRESA as the secondary coordinator and in 2008 was hired as the director.

Our Mission

Working together for the children of Western North Carolina

Our Purpose

Provide a collaborative to increase school systems’ effectiveness through sharing instructional strategies and best practices while also pooling resources to provide high level professional development for educators in Western North Carolina. This collaborative approach has served our western systems well over the last 18 years through providing support, sharing best practices, sharing resources, offering high-quality professional development and saving financial resources. Many sessions are taught by regional faculty who have expertise in their areas. The WRESA staff teaches many sessions on site and they also travel to schools or regional locations to conduct sessions. Through our collaborative efforts, WRESA has been able to bring numerous national and international educational presenters to Western North Carolina. This practice allows regional educators opportunities to receive high quality instruction while saving our school systems expenses related to travel. WRESA provides coordination of job-alike groups such as curriculum staff and human resource officers along with others. Meeting space and presenters are coordinated through WRESA staff.

Grant History

Grant writing is another service provided by WRESA. Our staff has a part-time grant writer to pursue grants for funding programs for our regional school systems. Since 2000, WRESA and Western North Carolina Regional Education Foundation (WNCREF), a 501(c) 3 foundation, has assisted with coordinating and acquiring over $10 million in grants for our regional school systems.

Project Fiscal Agent/Coordinator Source Timeframe Amount Funded
Alternative Strategies Program Southwestern Commission WRESA Office of Juvenile Justice & Deliquency Prevention

Local School Districts

2000-2003 $2,180,000
WNC EdNET BroadbAND* Fiber Deployment Southwestern Commission WRESA CPFdn – $1.7M Golden LEAF – $2.2M NC Rural Center – $40K Appalachian Regional Commission – $700.5K BETA – $1.2 M Local School Districts – $205.5K 2005-2008 $6,000,000
Instructional Technology Awareness Conference (iTAC) at Western Carolina University Southwestern Commission WRESA CPFdn – $5K Golden LEAF – $40K 2007 $45,000
Technology Application Local School Based Training WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $100K 2008-2009 $100,000
CSI MSP Grant WRESA DPI 2008-2010 $600,000
Student Engagement in Technology Programs Southwestern Commission WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $30K 2009 $30,000
Exxon Mobil WRESA CPFdn – $30K 2009 $15,000
Instructional Technology Awareness Conference (iTAC2) at Cherokee Middle School Southwestern Commission WRESA CPFdn – $50K 2010 $50,000
WAN Engineer Services Southwestern Commission WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $80K Local School Districts – $200K 2010 $280,000
Technology Application Regional Training Sessions AND* the Institute at Cherokee Middle School WNCREF WRESA 2010 $220,000
Technology Application Regional Training Sessions AND* the Institute at Cherokee Middle School WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $220K 2010 $220,000
Brain Friendly Instruction WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $20K ASCD – $2K 2011 $22,000
Abstinence Grant DPI WRESA 2011-2014 $40,500
Student Entrepreneurial STEM Project Swain County Schools WRESA CPFdn – $20K 2012 $20,000
STEM-E (1) WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $398K 2013 $398,000
Appalachian Waves WNCREF WRESA CPFdn – $100K 2014 $100,000
Golden Leaf LASER WNCREF Golden Leaf, NCMST 2014 end $700,000
CTE Cherokee Preservation Foundation WNCREF CPFdn 2016 $62,800
Total Amount $10,863,300

AND* = Amount Not Determined

Session Highlights:

  • Junior Great Books
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (2 certified trainers on staff)
  • Poverty Training (1 certified trainer on staff)
  • Thinking Maps
  • Legal Updates
  • Leadership Institutes
  • Literacy Institutes
  • Fall Leadership Conference
  • Technology Conference
  • Project GLAD
  • Aspiring Principals Institute
  • Mountain Teacher Job Fairs
  • BioTech Awareness Conference
  • STEM Leadership Academy
  • Math Trainings K-12
  • Beginning Teachers’ Orientation
  • Early Childhood Institute
  • Mentor Training and Support
  • NC Wildlife Commission (Project Catch, Project Wild, Advanced Wild Bears & Aquatic Wild)
  • Differentiation Institute
  • Administrators’ Institute
  • Coordinated and arranged presentations by NCDPI staff
  • NCSELP Masters in Education Leadership and PMC degree program with WCU

National/International Presenters:

  • Richard and Becky DuFour
  • Lynn Canady
  • Harry Wong
  • Amie Dean
  • Eric Jensen
  • Christopher Canyon
  • Barry Lane
  • Marcia Tate
  • Susan Zimmerman
  • Kathy Nunley
  • Lucy Calkins
  • Debbie Miller
  • Stephanie Harvey
  • Cris Tovani
  • Kathy Bumgardner
  • Ralph Fletcher
  • Carl Anderson
  • Katie Wood Ray
  • Laura Candler
  • Richard Allington
  • Sue Nelle DeHart
  • Marcy Cook
  • Lester Laminack
  • Todd Whitaker
  • Ron Clark
  • Milton Chen
  • Michael Fullan
  • Yong Zhao
  • Carol Ann Tomlinson