Author Bio: Joel E. Medley is a native North Carolinian and was taught the importance of education as a child. His father dropped out of high school and ensured that his children would not repeat that mistake. Joel became the first person in his family to graduate from a four year college and the first to pursue post-graduate work.
He discovered that education would be his career pathway during his sophomore year of high school. During the evenings, he sat at the kitchen table to do his homework and helped his dad work through the requirements to attain a G.E.D. The day that his father walked across the state at Walter Williams High School in Burlington, NC, Joel knew his future was in education.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University in Social Studies Education, where he was named the university’s Secondary Student Teacher of the Year. He continued his education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro completing two master’s degrees – one in American History and the other in School Administration. He will receive his PhD in Christian Leadership from Louisiana Baptist University and Seminary in May 2012.
Joel has taught social studies at the middle school, high school, and community college level. A highlight of his career was being named the 2001 NC Character Educator of the Year for high school teachers while he taught at an alternative charter school. He was also recognized by the local paper as an excellent educator in his content area.
After teaching, he pursued the principalship and served as a school administrator in both charter and traditional schools. He worked at the Department of Public Instruction, Office of Charter Schools, for more than three years before being recruited to go to South Carolina. There, he led the Charter and Magnet School program for the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Before returning to his home state, Joel received the Inez M. Tenenbaum Award from the School Leadership Executive Institute at the SCDE. Currently, he serves as the Director of the Office of Charter Schools within the NC Department of Public Instruction.