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Mooresville school superintendent to leave

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Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards, who helped vault the Mooresville Graded School District to the forefront of public education in North Carolina, announced Thursday he is leaving the district after nine years as superintendent.

Edwards announced his plans at 10:45 a.m. during a meeting with the MGSD Board of Education. He has accepted a position as senior vice president of Discovery Education, a digital-based educational content provider, working in the company's Charlotte office.

Edwards, 63, said he will leave the MGSD in August. He and his family will continue to live in Mooresville, where his son is a rising junior at Mooresville High School.

School board chairman Larry Wilson said the district will "move as quickly as possible" to find a successor to Edwards.

“It is a sad day for MGSD," Wilson said. "A superintendent with Dr. Edwards’ credentials will be difficult to replace. He was very successful in putting together a strong infrastructure and team.

"As Dr. Edwards has said, MGSD is more than one person and will continue on the path of excellence. We will move as quickly as possible and consider all of our options when hiring a new superintendent."

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Since Edwards joined the MGSD in 2007, the district rapidly rose academically to become one of the state's best. It is the only district in the state over the last five years to rank among the top three in student performance.

"I feel like I'm leaving things in good shape," he told the Tribune.

Shortly after Edwards arrived in spring 2007, his impact was felt as he immediately partnered with Lowe's Inc. to build an artificial turf field at the Mooresville High football field.

The district's "digital conversion" then began, with students beginning to receive laptop computers through a partnership with Apple. Today, all students in grades 2-12 either have classroom access to laptops or are able to take them home. Students in kindergarten and first grade have classroom iPads.

With the MGSD's use of digital education and its academic reputation growing, two of Edwards' crowning moments occurred in 2013. He was named national superintendent of the year by the American Association of School Administrators, and President Obama paid a visit to Mooresville Middle School.

Then, in 2014, Edwards was arguably the No. 1 champion for the countywide $131 million education bond referendum, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters. That money funded a $40 million expansion to Mooresville High School and the construction of a Performing Arts& Athletics Center, which are currently in progress.

For more on Edwards' departure, and his impact on education here, see Sunday's Mooresville Tribune.

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Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS Feed | Omny Studio