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Dr. Mark Edwards


Dr. Mark Edwards
Superintendent
Mooresville Graded School District (NC)



Dr. Mark Edwards has been Superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District for 6 years.  In 2007, when Edwards came to Mooresville—a district of 8 schools, 40 percent of whose children receive free or reduced-price lunch—his vision for preparing students for life in the 21st century included a laptop for every child in grades 4 through 12 for their 24/7 use and providing laptops at school for the children in grades K-3. He understood too that in order to sustain the changes he proposed and for the technology to be used effectively, the district also needed to institute comprehensive professional development opportunities for its teachers.

To accomplish these goals, among other things, Edwards created active parent and teacher advisory groups to help guide and support the initiatives,?established an “Every Child, Every Day” culture throughout the district,?reached out to parents of students of color to create new partnerships, and?enlisted the Chamber of Commerce, the town, a foundation and a local church to create a summer STEM program.

As a result, since 2007, MGSD’s academic achievement for students testing proficient or advanced on state end-of-grade tests has increased by 16 percentage points from 73 percent to 89 percent. The 4-year cohort graduation rate has improved by 13 percentage points, with 90 percent of seniors graduating. The college-going rate has increased from 74 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. Before coming to Mooresville, Edwards served as dean for the University of Northern Alabama’s School of Education, superintendent of Henrico Public Schools (VA) and superintendent of Danville Public Schools (VA). Edwards has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2001 Virginia State Superintendent of the Year, a 2002 Tech Savvy Superintendent by eSchool News, and the Community Leader Award from the Mooresville NAACP. Edwards has briefed Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on digital conversion and was asked to help launch Digital Promise at the White House. The district has been recognized in a PBS documentary and a February 2012 article in the New York Times.