Dr. Lynn Moody, An Old School-New School Approach

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.

This episode features Dr. Lynn Moody, Superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System in Salisbury, North Carolina. Dr. Moody’s current work centers on 3 core actions -

  1. Building relationships

  2. Learning students’ passions and interests

  3. Tailoring instruction around those passions and interests

Dr. Moody has the courage to bluntly discuss the harsh realities of our education system through the lens of low-income students who have to overcome the pressures of poverty on the path to developing college-going confidence. We discuss philosophical differences with prioritizing standardized testing metrics over student self-discovery, as well as how to best honor the unique values and goals of individual communities.

As part of the conversation, we also talk about how parental expectations for their students’ education is sometimes clouded by their own experiences in school. Combining an old school approach of valuing teaching over testing with the new school reality that tech helps her students move forward, she is focused on transforming outcomes while honoring the individualism of each RSS student.

About Dr. Lynn Moody

Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody is an accomplished leader in transforming education. She leads a district of over 19,500 students with a 63% poverty level, 3,000 employees, and a budget of $170 million. Through the district’s aggressive strategic plan focus on literacy and student engagement, Dr. Moody and her team are bringing national and state attention to the innovative practices that are receiving astonishing results for student success. The district was recently ranked in the top 10 nationally for pioneering technology uses; received the national digital curriculum strategy award and the national digital content & curriculum achievement award.

In addition, Discovery Education presented Dr. Moody with the ‘Innovation in Education’ award. On a state level under Dr. Moody’s leadership team, the district has been recognized for excellence in educational programs as well as excellence in communication, public relations, and marketing. Dr. Moody received the ‘Friday Medal’ by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Dr. Moody serves on a number of local, state and national boards such as ERDI Network, NCHSSA, Responsive Classroom, Schlechty Network, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and United Way.

Under Dr. Moody’s Leadership, there has been Rowan-Salisbury representation on national panels, presentations, and in publications such as the Learning Counsel, Education Talk Radio, Discovery Education, Future Ready Summit, NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association), ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), NCASA (NC Association of School Administrators), ASU-GSV (Arizona State University — Global Silicon Valley), NCTIES (NC Technology In Education Society), Schlechty Center, Digital Promise, and Literacy Today.

About Rowan-Salisbury School System

The Rowan-Salisbury School System provides extraordinary education every day for more than 19,500 students in 35 schools.

Under Dr. Moody’s leadership, the district emphasizes technology-driven instruction with a strong focus on literacy and problem-based learning, as well as meaningful professional development for all staff members. These methods have resulted in a dramatic increase in student engagement and performance.

As of the 2015–16 school year, 91.4 percent of Rowan-Salisbury schools increased their performance composite, and 96 percent of the district’s K-8 schools met or exceeded growth in reading.

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