Michael Ward, Ph.D.
Dr. Mike Ward is an educational leader with over 36 years of public education service. He is an associate member of the graduate faculty in educational leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is also president of The MEWs Educational Consulting, Inc. and serves as a consultant to state and local education leaders on matters related to leadership, school improvement, strategic planning, and assessment.
From 1997 to 2004, Mike served two terms as State Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina. During Mike’s tenure, the state earned a reputation for rapid progress in the performance of its public schools. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction also received the Daisy Bates Educational Advocacy Award at the NAACP’s 4th national Education Summit. The award recognized the Department’s work in improving access,equity and accountability in education.
Dr. Ward is past President of the Council of Chief State School Officers, whose members include state superintendents and education commissioners from across the country. He is also a past member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the administration of the National Assessment of Education Progress. His past experience includes service as a local superintendent of schools. He has also been a teacher, coach, and high school principal. He is a published author and researcher, writing on a variety of professional topics.
Mike is a past recipient of North Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year award. A three-time graduate of North Carolina State University, he received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. While at Southern Miss, he has received the university’s Hero of Katrina Award and the College of Education and Psychology’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Mike is an active volunteer. He is chair of the International Relief Committee of Stop Hunger Now and is engaged in community development in South Sudan. He serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Education at North Carolina State University.
Mike's wife, Hope Morgan Ward, is the bishop of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Wards have two children and a grandson. Their son, Jason is a professor of Southern studies and civil rights history; he and his wife Alison are both on the faculty at Mississippi State University. The Wards' daughter, Brooke, is a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.