Pacelli to Honor Skyward Founder Jim King ’63, Late Cliff King ’72 with Distinguished Alumni Award

On Saturday, May 28, Pacelli Catholic Schools is set to recognize this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients: Skyward founder, former CEO, and former chairman of the board Jim King and the late Cliff King, former Skyward president and CEO. 

The award, given annually to an alumnus (or alumni), recognizes graduates from the Catholic high school who exemplify a Christian lifestyle for their professional and/or volunteer achievements bringing honor and distinction to Pacelli and success in leadership, service, and character both in private and public life. To date, there are 22 recipients of Pacelli’s most prestigious alumni award. 

Jim King '63 and the late Cliff King '72

Jim King, a graduate of Pacelli’s class of 1963, founded Skyward, a school administration software provider that now employs over 650 people, in his garage in 1980. Jim King, along with his late brother Cliff King of Pacelli’s class of 1972, grew the company into a premier provider of K-12 education technology. Today, Skyward serves more than 2,500 school districts and over seven million students worldwide, continuing a strong focus on their company values of delighting customers, inspiring each other, building something better, developing lasting connections, and, most importantly, enriching communities.

“Under the King brothers’ strong leadership, Skyward has been committed to giving back to the community,” said current Skyward CEO Scott Glinski in his nomination of Jim King and Cliff King. “The company launched the Skyward Foundation to support community events, aid community groups serving those in greatest need, and promote central Wisconsin as a destination for employees.”

Outside of Skyward’s generosity, both Jim King and Cliff King have personally embodied philanthropy. Jim King is an extremely generous and giving person to his employees and community organizations, including his unwavering support of Pacelli Catholic Schools.

Cliff King was more than giving of his time and talents whenever he was asked. He was a founding member and former chair of Central Wisconsin Information Technology Alliance (CWITA), bringing local business leaders together to prove the Stevens Point area in the fields of IT and computer science. Cliff King also served on numerous boards including the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Michael’s Foundation, Stevens Point Rotary Club, and the Portage County Business Council. 

“I am a true believer that the Stevens Point area wouldn’t be the same without Jim and Cliff’s many contributions and passion for the community,” said Glinski. “The King brothers are more than deserving of recognition for their commitment to serving the Stevens Point community.”

A true testament to their selfless leadership, Jim King and Cliff King have always shared any honors or recognition with their company rather than accept individual accolades. Under their leadership, Skyward has been honored with the Corporate Report Wisconsin Small Business Award, Wisconsin Family Business of the Year 2008, Employer Support of the Guard Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award 2009, Copps Philanthropic Award 2010, Bubbler Award 2017 & 2018, EdTech Digest Company of the Year 2019, and Tech Cares Award 2020, to name a few.

“It is completely safe to say that Skyward wouldn’t be here without Jim King, and it wouldn’t be where it is today without Cliff King,” said Glinski.

Jim King and Cliff King will be formally recognized this Saturday at a brunch held in their honor. Jim King will then serve as the keynote speaker at the Pacelli Catholic High School Class of 2022 graduation ceremony to be held later that same day.

Leave a Comment