Odds and Ends About Mark Edwards

 Mark Edwards is named SOY
    Mark Edwards of Mooresville, N.C., is named the 2013 
      National
Superintendent of the Year. Photo by Lifetouch
The 2013 National Superintendent of the Year, Mark Edwards of Mooresville, N.C., in his own words.

His motto: “Every Child, Every Day”

On the art of leadership: “Have to understand that the culture within a school or school district determines the ebb and flow of the work. We’re building a strong culture, both from other leaders I’ve observed and admired, and life in general. I see that using a team approach gets better results,” Edwards says.

On minoring in religious studies in college: “A big part of successful leadership is building a sense of respect, honor and high expectations,” he says.

On the importance of self-reflection: “To me, that reflective practice builds transparency and vulnerability. We’re sharing the good and the bad, opening ourselves up,” Edwards says.

On the No. 1 priority: “We never have a principals meeting when we don’t talk about student achievement. Not one time,” says Edwards.

On firing a principal he had personally recruited: “He had great potential but made a major error. I had no choice. The determining factor should always be to do what’s best for the children.”

On a false sense of appreciation: While accompanying a group visitors to the school district, a classroom teacher walked toward us. “'You are a godsend,’ she said. I thought, ‘Wow, she talking to me; I’ve never been called that.' "The teacher walked right past Edwards toward a technical support person who was giving back her computer.

VIDEO: Interview with Mark Edwards [1:16]

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