Jim Hart Award Winners


Jody Joyner

Jody Joyner, Governor’s School class of 1972, has served as legal counsel to the NC Governor’s School Foundation (GSF) Board of Directors for well over 30 years. During that time, always working pro bono, Jody shared countless hours of sage advice and legal guidance with the GSF and its leaders.

The depth and breadth of Jody’s contributions to GSF and Governor’s School are nearly impossible to overstate. He was there at the beginning, doing the legal work to form the GSF in 1990 and since then he has steadfastly remained a loyal advisor decade after decade, doing everything from amending the GSF’s charter and bylaws to counseling and advising the officers and directors on topics both novel and routine.

Jody provided valuable counsel as the GSF responded to the defunding of Governor’s School in 2011, and the proposed defunding in 2017. Among other things, he helped GSF understand the non-profit guidelines surrounding raising the money needed to fund the 2012 session of Governor’s School and helped the GSF properly structure a grant of those funds to the NC Department of Public Instruction. When the former Governor’s School Alumni Association (GSAA) approached GSF about merging in 2019, Jody was there to offer key legal advice about how to fold GSAA’s services into GSF and bring the two entities together.

Jody’s service to GSF goes beyond his legal advice. He is a primary source of institutional memory to the GSF board of directors, and he also actively participates in most GSF events, including helping raise significant funds to help fund the 2012 session of Governor’s School when there was no state funding.

For those and many other reasons, the NC Governor’s School Foundation is proud to honor Jody Joyner as a Jim Hart Governor’s School Champion Award winner for 2023.