Director of N.C. School Administrators speaks to N.C. Teaching Fellows

Buies Creek, N.C.—Bill McNeal, executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCSA), gave Campbell University’s North Carolina Teaching Fellows a glimpse of the future on Monday, Aug. 30, when he spoke at the Teaching Fellows Leadership seminar series.

A former superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, McNeal is a veteran educator who has dealt with the copious challenges facing today’s educators.

“We need to prepare students for future jobs and technologies that don’t even exist today,” McNeal explained. “As little as 16 years ago, no one predicted the invention of the iPod or the MP3. You tell me how we can predict future technologies today.”

Although teachers can’t predict the future, they can adopt teaching methods that will help ensure student success, McNeal added. This method can be summarized in the words “Rigor,” “Relevance” and “Relationships.”

 “Rigor is about figuring out where your children are and how you can challenge them. Relevance is making learning relate to the world students live in. And relationships, if you have no relationship with young people, the message you’re sending them is that they aren’t going to get your best effort,” McNeal said.

The award of a $400 million federal grant to fund Governor Bev Purdue’s initiative on career and college for students will make the North Carolina education system more competitive, McNeal explained. The program will not only provide standards of excellence for students and prepare them for college or technical training, but it will evaluate teachers as well.

“And, as future teachers, you get to inherit all of this!” he said. “But in my opinion, this is an exciting time in public education. If you’re successful, students will recognize you in the mall or some other place and introduce you to their parents. You’ll be known in that household, and that’s about as close to immortality as you can get.”

Bill McNeal became the executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators in 2006, after retiring from his post as Superintendent of the Wake County Public School System. In his current role, he leads the membership association that serves almost 7,000 public school administrators from all 115 school districts in North Carolina. He is one of seven national keynote speakers for the International Center for Leadership in Education and in 2009, he co-authored the book, “A School District’s Journey to Excellence: Lessons from Business and Education,” with Tom Oxholm.

Campbell University was selected to participate in the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program in 2007.There are currently 55 North Carolina Teaching Fellows at Campbell.


Photo Copy: Bill McNeal, executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, addresses Campbell’s North Carolina Teaching Fellows.