Michael Ward, Ph.D.



North Carolina State University

  • Ed. D., Educational Administration, 1993
  • Superintendent’s Certification, 1989
  • Principal’s Certification, 1985
  • M. Ed., Occupational Education, 1981
  • B. S., Vocational/Technical Education, 1977



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.



Ward, M., Peters, G., & Shelley, K. (2010).  Student and faculty perceptions of the quality of online learning experiences. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(3), 57-77.

Ward, M., Shelley, K., Kaase, K., & Pane, J. (2008).  Hurricane Katrina: A longitudinal study of the achievement and behavior of displaced students.  The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 13.2-3, 297-317.

Ward, M. & Shelley, K. (2008).  Hurricane Katrina’s impact on students and staff members in the schools of Mississippi.  The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 13.2-3, 335-353.

Lee, D., Parker, G., Ward, M., Styron, R., & Shelley, K. (2008).  Katrina and the schools of Mississippi: An examination of emergency and disaster preparedness.  The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 13.2-3, 318-334. 

McGarity, A., Styron, R., Ward, M., & Schoen, D. (2007). Proactive administrative ecology:  Assisting superintendents with board and public relations through the use of career counselors.  The Journal of School Public Relations, 28(1).

Marshall, C. & Ward, M. (2004).  Strategic policy for social justice training for leadership.  The Journal of School Leadership, 14(5), 530-563. 

Ward, M. (2003). No Child Left Behind:  Myth and reality check—a state superintendent’s perspective.  The Journal for Effective Schools, 2(2), 13-17.



Keynote Speeches and Presentations, National (Refereed and Invitational):

“Education 101: Preparing North Carolina Students for College and Careers. Leadership North Carolina Education Conference, December 4, 2013.

“Fast Forward: What We’re Preparing Kindergartners For.” Annual Conference, the Minnesota Rural Education Association, Nov. 18. 2013.

“Ensuring Preparedness for College and Careers.” New York Education Forum, October 10, 2013.

Co-Presenter, “Policy Impact and Implications of International Comparisons.” NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study Conference, Bethesda, MD, Nov. 27-28, 2012.

















Co-Presenter, “Five years out:  An update on the behavior and achievement of students displaced by Hurricane Katrina.”  2010 Five Years of Post-Katrina Educational Reform Research Conference, New Orleans, September 24, 2010.

Speaker and Facilitator, National Governors Assoc. Mission Growth Working Group: Preparing States for Growth Around Military Bases, July, 2008.

Presenter, “Hurricane Katrina and Displaced Students: Achievement and Behavior in the Wake of the Storm.” 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New York, NY, March 25, 2008.

“From Conceptual to Concrete: A Coherent and Balanced Assessment System.” Speaker and Panel Moderator, National Association of State Boards of Education Annual Meeting, October 17, 2008.

CCSSO President’s Theme Speeches to Council of Chief State School Officers. 

“Seeing It Through,” New Orleans, November 10, 2002. 

“High School Reform: More Than Just Dropout Prevention,” Lake Tahoe, July, 2003 

“High School Reform—Now,” Indianapolis, November 7, 2003.

Keynote Speeches and Presentations, International (Refereed and Invitational):

Co-Presenter, “Synchronous Interactive Online Instruction: An Emerging Enticement for the Reluctant Instructor.” 37th Annual Conference of the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (ISETL), Atlanta, GA, October 11, 2007.

“The Evolving Role of the LEA Superintendent.” London, England. The Society of Education Officers Annual Conference, July 12, 2002.



Professional Services

  • Member, Advisory Board, NC State Univ. College of Education, 2013-present.
  • Reviewer, Park Scholarships Regional Selection Committee, NC State University, 2013 – present.
  • Ambassador to Chief State School Officers, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2004 – present.
  • Member, Academic Advisory Board, Generation Ready, 2013 – present.
  • State/Federal Advisor, Generation Ready, 2013- present.
  • State/Federal Advisor, Renaissance Learning, 2007 – present.


International Services

  • Stop Hunger Now (International Relief Organization)

-Member, International Committee, 2014 – present

-Volunteer, Fundraiser, 2001 – present

-Volunteer, Relief Team to South Sudan, November, 2011, November, 2013

-Volunteer, Relief Team to Armenia, August, 2013

-Member, Advisory Committee, Mississippi Warehouse, 2009-12

-Volunteer, Mississippi Warehouse, 2009-12



  • University Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Education and Psychology, The University of Southern Mississippi, 2007-2008
  • “Hero of Katrina” Award. The University of Southern Mississippi, May, 2006
  • Statement Honoring Service as North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.  The Congressional Record of the 108th Congress, September 15, 2004
  • Order of the Long Leaf Pine.  North Carolina’s Highest Civilian Award, Presented by Governor Mike Easley, 2004
  • Council of Chief State School Officers Service Award, 2004
  • East Carolina University Educators Hall of Fame Inductee, 2003
  • Listed in Who’s Who in American Politics
  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Catawba College, 2001
  • Presidential Medallion Award, Campbell University, 2001
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, North Carolina State University, 1997
  • North Carolina Superintendent of the Year, American Association of School Administrators, 1994
  • Principal of the Year, Granville County Schools, 1988