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. He became the first person in his family to graduate from a four-year college and the first to pursue post-graduate work.
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 has also completed a Ph.D. at Louisiana Baptist University in Leadership.
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. After teaching, he pursued the principalship and served as a school administrator in both charter and traditional schools. He led the Charter and Magnet School program in South Carolina before returning to his home state to lead the NC Office of Charter Schools. Since then, he has opened a new online charter school and served as a corporate leadership development director.
He resides in North Carolina with his wife and their four children.