NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: FEBRUARY 22, 2013


Mark A. Edwards, superintendent of Mooresville Grade School District, has been named the 2013 American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year. Edwards was honored yesterday at the opening ceremony of the AASA National Conference on Education in Los Angeles. Now in its 26th year, the awards program is co-sponsored by AASA, ARAMARK Education and VALIC.

Edwards is the second North Carolina local schools superintendent to be named National Superintendent of the Year. Bill McNeal, former superintendent of Wake County Schools, received this honor in 2004.

"North Carolina's public school community could not be more proud or pleased to have Mark Edwards named as the National Superintendent of the Year," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Mark is an innovative and dynamic superintendent whose vision for learning and adapting in a digital age set a high standard for all North Carolina school districts."

During the past five years, Edwards has brought significant change to the Mooresville school district. Today, the district ranks third in North Carolina for its high school graduation rate and is distinguished by its "every child, every day" culture. Digital learning is embraces, and all students in grades 4-12 are provided with a laptop for 24/7 use. This is supported through comprehensive professional development for teachers and very active parent and teacher advisory groups and collaboration with the business community to provide ongoing guidance and support to the district's activities.

As a result of these efforts, the college-going rate in Mooresville has increased from 74 percent to 88 percent.

Edwards holds a Ph.D. in education from Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in administration and supervision from Tennessee Technical University and a B.S. in education from the University of Tennessee. He has served as dean for the University of Northern Alabama's School of Education, superintendent of Henrico Public Schools (VA) and Danville Public Schools (VA). Edwards has received many awards and recognitions, including the 2001 Virginia State Superintendent of the Year, a 202 Tech Savvy Superintendent award by eSchool News and the Community Leader Award from the Mooresville NAACP. Edwards was asked to help launch Digital Promise at the White House, and the Mooresville district has been recognized in a PBS documentary and a February 2012 article in The New York Times.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.