As the new assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Dr. Mark Duckworth has a goal to do the best he can for student achievement.
The educator officially began his new position with Clinton City Schools July 1. It was previously held by Lenora Locklear, who announced her retirement in the spring.
“I was interested in continuing to grow as an administrator in education,” Duckworth said. “The position opened up for curriculum and instruction, and I have always been an advocate of trying to do the best that you can for all of the children in the schools. I feel like that’s one of those pieces that I can help improve in the school system.”
The purpose of the department is to focus on student achievement and the quality of instruction. One of Duckworth’s duties will include working with different curriculum coaches as well as other educational matters.
His previous position was with Scotland County Schools as the director of testing and accountability. It is the same school system where Board of Education members found current superintendent Stuart Blount.
While attending school as a youth, Duckworth said a lot of people had an influence on him as a person.
“There was an intimate touch with your instructors and the people because of the smallness of our schools,” Duckworth said. “I ran across a lot of educators that I aspired to be like.They were good role models and I always enjoyed what they were doing and they were good in class. I thought they were excellent instructors, and I would use some of the instructors today.”
After high school, he continued to meet inspirational instructors at East Carolina University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s in education.
The Morganton, Burke County native also has a certificate from Gardner-Webb University in school administration and a doctorate from North Carolina State University in education.
After college, he became a recreational therapist for special populations. He also worked in the juvenile delinquency field through an internship in the western part of the state.
Next, he began teaching and working in school. During a stop at East Burke there were a couple of educators who were always opening up new activities with things that were innovative.
“That’s when I decided to go into administration and make a difference there,” he said.
He is married to his wife Allison and together they have one daughter, Emily. Allison works in the health care field.
Duckworth enjoys seeing the world. Some of the places he’s visited include Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Greece, Switzerland and South America.
“I like to experience different cultures and I like to travel,” he said.
Blount said Duckworth brings a level of experience which will help move the department forward.
“I’m looking forward to him bringing the expertise and building relationships with teachers and principals as we work to meet the goals and objectives of our school system,” Blount said.