ACU recognizes alumnus for innovative school leadership

Posted February 09, 2009

Dr. Marcus NelsonEach year, Abilene Christian University celebrates excellence in education by naming an alumnus of the Department of Education as the Morlan Medal Award winner. This year, Dr. Marcus Nelson, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in the Judson Independent School District, will be honored.

Nelson, who has been recognized by numerous media outlets for his innovative school leadership, currently serves as the chief academic officer for his school district's 22,000 students and 1,400 classroom teachers. He is also a popular public speaker, inspiring audiences to personal and organizational change, growth and an appreciation for hard work, said Dr. Dana Hood, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ACU.

A native of San Antonio, Nelson graduated with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from ACU in 1994, and earned two master's degrees and a doctorate from Texas A&M University. He has served as an elementary fifth grade teacher, high school math teacher, middle school vice principal, high school assistant principal, as well as director of secondary schools. He had immense success as principal of John B. Connally High School in Pflugerville, Texas, where the number of dropouts decreased by more than 95 percent in his first year, Hood said.

The Morlan Medal Award, named in memory of Dr. G.C. Morlan, chair of the Department of Education in 1934-58, is presented annually to an alumnus who has demonstrated outstanding teaching and leadership in education.

The Award Dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on March 27 in the Bob and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center.