Michael Ward, Ph.D.
Dr. Mike Ward is an educational leader with over 33 years of public education service. He is an associate member of the graduate faculty in educational leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2004, he concluded his second four-year term as State Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina. During his tenure, the state’s schools earned a reputation for being among the nation’s most rapidly improving systems of public education.
Dr. Ward serves as a consultant to state public education officers on matters related to leadership, school improvement, strategic planning, performance coaching, and assessment of student achievement. He has also served as a Policy Fellow with North Carolina State University’s Bill and Ida Friday Institute, and as an adjunct professor of educational leadership with the University.
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 served for eight years on 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.
Dr. Ward is a past recipient of North Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year award. A three-time graduate of North Carolina State University, Dr. Ward received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. He has also been honored as a doctor of humane letters by Catawba College, and is a recipient of the Presidential Medallion Award from Campbell University.
Dr. Ward’s wife, Hope, is the United Methodist bishop for the state of Mississippi. The Wards have two children. Jason is a professor of Southern studies and civil rights history at Mississippi State University. Brooke teaches high school English and literature at Riverside School in Prague, the Czech Republic.