Bladen County Schools Superintendent Robert Taylor to receive prestigious Friday Medal

By: By Chrysta Carroll -

RALEIGH — A statewide organization has reached into Bladen County to honor Bladen County Schools Superintendent Robert Taylor.

The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University’s College of Education announced this week it is bestowing the 2017 Friday Medal to Taylor and six other innovative superintendents of North Carolina rural districts.

“I was just totally shocked,” commented Taylor. “The Friday Medal is a very prestigious honor coming from the Friday Institute, and to be included with the other superintendents and to be among people like Judge Manning and Gov. Jim Hunt speaks volumes about what this award represents. To even be considered is an honor.”

The Friday Medal, according to the release, “honors significant, distinguished and enduring contributions to education through advocating innovation, advancing education, and imparting inspiration” and is being given to the recipients both to honor their accomplishments in improving student learning through digital-age approaches and to name them as “representatives of the many other dedicated and innovative rural superintendent’s” in the state.

“This particular award — when you talk about rural innovations — is a collaboration of everyone in the district,” Taylor remarked. “When I think about what the Board of Education has done and continues to do, the personal effort the principals put into innovation every day, the classroom teachers and district staff, every single person in the district, it truly is an award to Bladen County educators. It’s overwhelming that I have the singular recognition, but it goes way beyond me, and I hope the community and the state look at what we’re trying to do to keep kids innovative and up-to-date in the 21st century.”

The award puts Taylor in good company. Past recipients include Judge Howard E. Manning Jr., a former Superior Court judge who oversaw enforcement of Leandro v. State of North Carolina; the Hon. Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education; David H. Rose, faculty member at Harvard University and co-founder and chief education officer for the Center for Applied Special Technology; Hon. James B. Hunt, former governor of North Carolina; and Bill McNeal, 2004 National Superintendent of the Year.

In addition to Taylor, the six other superintendents to receiv the award included Darrin Hartness (Davie County), Anthony Jackson (Vance County), Jeff McDaris (Transylvania County), Janet Mason (Rutherford County), Lynn Moody (Rowan-Salisbury), and Patrick Miller (Greene County).

Taylor and the other recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony on Nov. 15 at the Friday Institute for Education Innovation in Raleigh.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.


By Chrysta Carroll