Principal, Morgan County High School, Madison, Georgia
Nominees: Harry and Rosemary Wong
Representing the students, teachers, parents and community of Morgan County, Georgia, Mark Wilson was named the Met Life/NASSP National Principal of the Year for 2009. The honor came as a result of the great efforts of all of these stakeholders to help students graduate from high school, to raise the expectations for student learning, and to help students be prepared for their lives after high school. With equal attention to collaboration, creativity, student and teacher empowerment, high expectations, personalization, and student engagement, academic success has been bountiful at MCHS. Over the past years there has a been a dramatic increase in the graduation rates (overall from 71% in 2004 to 87.5% in 2009; African-American rates from 49% in 2004 to 85.5% in 2009), participation in advanced (International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement) courses (30 students in 2004 to 389 students in 2009), and in student success in post-secondary opportunities (including 82% of students moving to post-secondary options in 2009).
MCHS has been recognized as one of America’s Top 1500 High Schools by Newsweek, a National Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education, a Secondary Showcase School by the Center for Secondary School Reform, and a participant in the school showcase program of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Teachers and students of MCHS frequently share their work and expertise with colleagues around Georgia, and throughout the nation.
Mark Wilson is a nationally recognized speaker, having delivered keynote and breakout sessions at national, state, and regional conventions across America for several years. Presenting a message of encouragement, hope, and pride in our profession of education, Dr. Wilson brings stories of the students and teachers of MCHS, and how their culture is built on “One Morgan” with “The Power to Act.”
A graduate of Clemson University, Mark served as a teacher and assistant principal in South Carolina prior to coming to Madison with his family in 2003. His wife Lisa is the Media Specialist at Morgan County Primary School, and daughters Anna (11th grade) and Ellen (9th grade) are students at MCHS.
Believing that the key to success for students in school is “passionate engagement in learning”, and that teachers are the inspiration for such engagement, Mark continues to teach daily at MCHS (AP Art History). Mark is a member of a number of state education committees, and is the Vice-President of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals.