Richmond Public Schools
Dr. Bedden holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Pennsylvania State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, completed post-doctoral courses in School Business Leadership at Wilkes University and attended Harvard University Graduate School of Education Leadership Institute for Superintendents.
An accomplished, creative, high-energy leader with 20 years of experience in administration and leadership, Dr. Bedden has a results-oriented record of improving academic achievement, working with diverse groups, increasing parent/community involvement, implementing systems-thinking, and providing a positive school and work environment. Dr. Bedden has demonstrated effective leadership skills in standards and performance based practices, human resource management, fiscal management, and school/community partnerships.
On December 22, 2013, the Richmond Board of Education unanimously selected Dr. Bedden to serve as the next superintendent of Richmond Public Schools (RPS). Prior to his selection to serve as the RPS Superintendent, Dr. Bedden served as the superintendent of the Irving (Texas) Independent School District where he oversaw an economically and socially diverse school district with 4500 employees serving 35,111 students representing 90 countries and speaking over 50 languages on 38 campuses. The position also entailed overseeing the development and management of a $260 million general fund budget and approximate $400 million total budget. His responsibilities included implementing a new multi-year strategic plan for the school district, developing a strategic communications plan for improvement of both internal and external communication. Dr. Bedden led Irving ISD through one of its most difficult financial periods resulting from state funding reductions while maintaining the District’s strong AA+ and Aa2 bond ratings and earning recognition from the State Comptroller as a five-star district from 2010-2012 for financial management and academic progress (highest rating for improving student achievement while keeping expenditures relatively low).
Superintendent Bedden provided guidance and professional learning for his leadership team on systems-thinking and the use of balanced scorecard to support organizational improvement. During his three year tenure, the district expanded its Advanced Placement course offerings and increased the percentage of students taking: AP courses by 13.6%, AP exams scores by 23.6%, AP Scholars recognition by 14.4% and the SAT participation rate from 39% to 85%. His system-wide reading and math extended learning program for grades K-11 provided 85,000 books for summer reading and math enrichment activities. During the 2011-2012 school year, each comprehensive high school began implementation of signature programs in the areas of: Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE); Aviation and Bio-Medical Science; Energy and Environmental Entrepreneurship as part of twelve career and technical education pathways. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses taken by students increased over 50%. Fine Arts enrollment also experienced a significant increase in enrollment of approximately 18%. In 2012 and 2013, two of the four Irving ISD high schools received Silver Medal Recognition by U.S. News & World Report as being in the top 8% of more than 21,000 high schools. In 2013, two of the four high schools were also selected for Newsweek’s Best High Schools. The District’s graduation rate increased from 78% in 2009 to 86% in 2013.
Prior to Irving ISD, Dr. Bedden served as superintendent for the Richmond County (Augusta, GA) where he also had two high schools recognized in the top 200 schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Particularly noteworthy were the improvements in academic performance in multiple areas. Along with an increase in the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress (AYP), the percentage of students graduating increased from 63.8% to 77%. In addition, seven out of eight comprehensive high schools increased their graduation rate during his tenure as superintendent.
He has also served as a Regional Superintendent in Philadelphia Public Schools, High School Principal at School Without Walls Senior High School in Washington, D.C., a public, urban college preparatory school, Subschool Principal in Fairfax County Schools, Director of Athletics and middle school teacher in other school districts.
Dr. Bedden has extensive experience serving on local, state and national committees and boards of community and business organizations as well as a being a speaker on important educational issues. He has published, contributed or been featured in several professional publications such as Phi Delta Kappa, Executive Education, District Administrator, and SMARTBUSINESS. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the National Association of Black School Educators
Dr. Bedden is married to attorney Ava Greene Bedden, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. They have three children, Daniel a sophomore at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Avanna a high school senior and Diana a third grader.