Dr. Donald G. Rush has invested the last 17 years in education, specifically as an elementary educator. At age 19, he began working as a paraprofessional in the Bladen County Schools system in southeastern, North Carolina. He held various positions which included school bus driver, substitute teacher, teacher assistant, and human resources assistant. Dr. Rush’s certified teaching career began in August 2011 at J.W. McLauchlin in Raeford, NC as a 3rd grade teacher where he was selected as Beginning Teacher of the Year. Eventually, Dr. Rush returned to Bladen County where he taught first grade at Dublin Primary School (DPS). At DPS, he served on the School Improvement Team, led district professional learning sessions for first grade teachers with Common Core State Standards in literacy and mathematics, and served as a captain for the school’s Relay for Life Team. In addition, Dr. Rush taught English as a Second Language summer school for students in Grades 5-8. While teaching in Bladen County, Dr. Rush was recognized as Bladen Journal’s “Best Teacher” for two consecutive years and named one of the Fayetteville Observer’s 40 Under Forty award recipients for his impact in education and community involvement.
Dr. Rush has been employed with the Department of Defense Education Activity since August 2014. He taught 1st grade at Johnson Primary School at Camp Lejeune, N.C. as well as 3rd and 4th grade at Shughart Elementary in Fort Bragg, N.C. Dr. Rush has served on the Continuous School Improvement Team, as grade-level chair, managed the teacher mentorship program for new teachers, facilitated the Math Mania After School Club and implemented a school-wide student recognition program incorporating Sean Covey’s Seven Habits of Happy Kids. During Summer 2019, he collaborated with the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast District Math Instructional Support Specialists to develop the Mathematics Comprehensive Assessment Plan (MCAP) to assess College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS) of Mathematics End of Unit knowledge. In Summer 2020, he co-facilitated a session at the Summer Leadership Conference for the Mid-Atlantic District Administrators entitled " Powerful Practices of Progress Monitoring” which focused on literacy and mathematics processes for increasing student achievement.
In May 2020, Dr. Rush was named Assistant Principal of AFNORTH Elementary School in the Netherlands and lead administrator at Kleine Brogel Elementary School in Belgium. Through his innovative and transformative leadership approach, Dr. Rush initiated and consistently monitored school wide implementation of student data binders which were utilized to track individual students’ progress towards SMART goals in literacy and mathematics. He also led professional development sessions to deepen teachers’ professional growth with CCRS curricular resources, multiage instruction, student-led conferences, data driven report card comments, and focused collaboration processes.
Dr. Rush holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Elementary Education both from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, graduate-level certification programs in English as a Second Language (K-12) and School Administration (K-12) from UNC-Wilmington, and an Educational Specialist degree with a specialization in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. He also holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
Dr. Rush is married and the father of three children. In his spare time, Dr. Rush enjoys conducting genealogical research, traveling, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.