LOS ANGELES -- Mooresville’s Mark Edwards was named Thursday as National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators.
It means the last two winners of the award work in the Charlotte area.
The 2012 winner was Heath Morrison, who was honored for his work with the Reno (Nevada) schools. Morrison last year left Reno to become superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Edwards, who has headed the Mooresville Graded School system since 2007, was honored by the AASA at the start of its annual national conference in Los Angeles.
He was among four national finalists and was selected for the honor by a panel of educators and education analysts.
In honoring Edwards, AASA officials cited the Mooresville Schools’ success in increasing high school graduation rates and scores on end-of-grade state tests. Since Edwards arrived as superintendent, the high school graduation rate has climbed from 73 percent to 90 percent.
And the percentage of students scoring at or above grade level on end-of-grade tests has increased from 73 percent to 89 percent.
Edwards has worked closely with the business community in the Mooresville area to build support for the schools. He was featured in a recent New York Times article on his program that provides all students in grades 4 through 12 with a laptop computer.
“Mark Edwards is exactly the kind of superintendent we need to carry public education into the 21st century,” said Daniel Domenech, the AASA’s executive director. “He gets it. He has combined the savvy to lead a digital revolution in his schools, with the wisdom to know that teachers teach their best, and children learn their best, in an environment that promotes mutual caring and respect.”
Before coming to Mooresville, Edwards as dean of education at the University of North Alabama and was superintendent of the Henrico (Va.) Public Schools.
He earned his bachelors degree from the University of Tennessee, his masters from Tennessee Tech, and his doctorate from Vanderbilt University.