Dr. Catherine Edmonds is a North Carolina education rockstar, with 30 years of experience in public education. She currently serves as the Deputy State Superintendent of the Office of Educational Equity, where she ensures that the state’s education systems approach all decisions through an equity lens. Dr. Edmonds’ distinguished career includes work as a classroom teacher (including Teacher of the Year!), principal, school and district turnaround specialist, director of the NC Principal Fellows Program, and most recently superintendent of Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools. She holds a BS from NC A&T State University as well as an MSA and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from NC State University.
What best prepared you for the role you have now?
Being a first-generation college student. I learned persistence, self-efficacy, and self-motivation.
Which skill would you most like to master?
What do you consider your organization's greatest achievement?
Collective impact approach to the work throughout the agency
What quality do you most admire in a school leader?
What is your current state of mind?
Making self-care a priority and a lot of self-reflection.
Who is/was your favorite teacher and why?
My 10th grade Algebra teacher, Catherine Oakley was my favorite teacher. She saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself.
Who are your favorite writers?
Jonathan Kozol (Savage Inequalities)
What is your most treasured possession?
Favorite motto or quote?
Students are like flowers. When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.
Best piece of advice ever given to you, or advice you try to pass along to students?
Always do your best and be in charge of your destiny
Advice you would give to a young person interested in a profession in education?
You will touch so many lives. Many times, you will never know the impact you’ve made.
What were you really into when you were a kid?
As a kid, I enjoyed jumping rope, double dutch to be exact. I still have my “best rope jumper” certificate from 9th grade when I participated in a Jump Rope for Heart event.