Dr. Phyllis Edwards has her B.S. and M.S. in education.
Dr. Edwards earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
Her career path started with teaching at the elementary and middle school levels. Dr. Edwards then moved into a District level position as a Curriculum Director and State/Federal Programs administrator. As the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Accountability for a Florida school system, she oversaw curriculum, instruction and professional development for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. She also oversaw the testing program mandated by the state as well as moved the system toward meeting and exceeding accountability measures by focusing on increased professional development.
In 2003, Dr. Edwards became the Superintendent of Schools in a city system in Georgia. Her tenure in the system lasted 12.5 years, many times the national average for tenure of a Superintendent of Schools. In her time as the system leader, she focused on Strategic Planning to create a strong, collaborative blueprint for moving the system forward. Under her leadership, the system was top in the Metro area and in the state overall according to state accountability measure. She was named one of 4 top Superintendents in the state in 2014-2015.
She is most proud of the following:
A top ranked Early Childhood Learning program, run by the system, for birth through age 5. This program was visited by the President of the United States, President Obama.
The creation of a Career Technical Academy, funded by a 3 million dollar grant from the Department of Education. One goal was to have all students graduate with a HS Diploma and a certificate in a Career path. Through a partnership with a private secondary institution, many students graduated with an AA at graduation.
An International Baccalaureate Program began under Dr. Edwards leadership. She began the program at the 4th grade level to ensure that the students and teachers would be ready as they entered high school for the rigorous high school program.
At the elementary level, students were engaged in the Expeditionary Learning Program which fosters in depth student-led learning and exploration to uncover learning objectives. Student-led conferences and evaluation were a highlight during her tenure.
Under her leadership, the city system became one of the first four state sponsored Charter Systems providing more flexibility from state mandates and creating a system of shared leadership and decision-making along with parents and community leaders.
Under her leadership, the system was released from a Court Ordered Desegregation Order issued in the 60’s. This was due to her follow through on a voluntary reorganization of schools and blessed by the US Department of Justice.
Dr. Edwards believes in creating a culture of leadership development at all levels and areas within the system. She fostered a celebration of a “Whatever It Takes Attitude” to meet the needs of all students.
She is married to Steve Edwards and they have two grown daughters.
Dr. Edwards joins the Dothan City School District as Superintendent in February 2018.