"Educate as if your life, legacy, and liberty depend on it, because they do!"  Dr. Art McCoy 


Dr. Art McCoy is a celebrated school system leader, scholar, education equity advocate, executive coach and consultant.  He is an inspiring champion for children.

In each of his professional positions, he was either the first African-American, youngest person, or only person to hold each role.

As a trailblazer in education, Dr. McCoy is an example of excellence and someone who has severed achievement gaps in the education of thousands of students as well as in his own education.  

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Background and PK-12 Leadership

Art McCoy, Ph.D., is an inspiring champion for children and nationally recognized educator. As an underrepresented youth, he defied all odds and became the youngest certified teacher in Missouri teaching mathematics in the Rockwood School District at age 19. He served as Grade Level Principal by age 22 and District Gifted Director at age 25 in Pattonville School District. He was an Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and guest lecturer at the College of William and Mary, Lindenwood, Maryville, and a scholarly reviewer for Columbia University Teacher’s College. After serving as an assistant superintendent, in December of 2010, he was named the youngest and first African-American superintendent of Ferguson-Florissant School District at age 33 and was a state and national leader for Harvard’s Pathways to Prosperity Initiative developing college and career pathways for secondary students. He has served on many state committees with the Department of Education as well as served as an education adviser to the House and Senate in Missouri, helping to write state laws for education equity. He has been President of SAGES, Superintendent-in-Residence of MIND Research Institute, and Chief Academic Officer of The Center for Innovations in Education DBA Base 11. He has supported over 1 million students and 2500 schools and colleges across America. In February 2016, Dr. McCoy became superintendent-elect for the Jennings School District and superintendent of schools as of July 2016.

Dr. McCoy founded SAGES, with the mission to Sever the Achievement Gap in the Education of Students and Sever Attainment Gaps Existing in Society. He has inspired scores of initiatives and served as an education leader and keynote speaker, nationwide. He authored "SAGES: Bridging Gaps of the Heart, Head, and Hand" and raised more than $10 million for students from grants and corporate donors to sustain and increase innovative initiatives. Dr. McCoy has served on numerous executive boards and councils including the Urban League, Midwest Health Initiative, Boy Scouts of America, MO Association of School Administrators, MO School Board Association, University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor’s Council, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis Magic House, and Harris Stowe-State University appointed by Governor Jay Nixon, Construction Forum Education Foundation, Missouri Chamber of Commerce 2030 Alliance, and Sigma Pi Phi's Grand Commission for African-American Males. Dr. McCoy earned his doctorate of philosophy in education with an emphasis in education leadership and policy studies from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and is an alumnus of Harvard University’s Leadership Institute for Superintendents post-graduate program. For more information, feel free to visit www.ArtMcCoy.com. 

At the primary and secondary level, Dr. McCoy has served as a teacher, principal, gifted education program director, volunteer desegregation program and student services executive director, curriculum and instruction assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools in suburban and urban schools and districts ranging from 5,000 to 23,000 students.  

Missouri and US Department of Education School Improvement Grant - $1.5 million  March 2010 to 2013 High Schools improved graduation rates by nearly 10% from 87% to 97% and improved in English student achievement by over 45% from 12% proficiency in 2010 to as high as 60% in 2012

Community Development Block Grants Department of Economic

Development Harvard's Pathways to Prosperity Innovative High

Schools Grant.  Received $290K February 2012 Partnering with

St. Louis Community College, Carpenters District Council of Greater

Saint Louis and Vicinity and local businesses for students to earn

college credit, career certifications, and gain hands-on experience

in high-demand fields.

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity Event Panelist, and Missouri

Chamber of Commerce and Industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Institute for a Competitive Workforce partnership February 2013,

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in partnership

with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for a Competitive

Workforce in Jefferson City to discuss critical education

reform issues.

Economic Development Grants and Curricular collaborations of over $200K from: the Urban League, the Workforce Investment Act, and National Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program for soft skills courses and employment of up to 1200 students annually, Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) for economic literacy classes for students, parents, and educators, and St. Louis Community College.

Higher Education

At the higher education level, Dr. McCoy has served as a(n):

  • Adjunct associate professor and lead consultant at the University of Missouri St. Louis, 

  • Plenary Presenter and Guest lecturer at the College of William and Mary, Lindenwood, Maryville, Fontbonne, and 

  • Scholarly reviewer of academic articles and books for Columbia University Teacher’s College. 

During the recession years of 2007 to 2014, Dr. McCoy raised more than $7 million in 7 years from grants, corporate and individual donors to sustain and increase innovative initiatives for students. 

Dr. McCoy has worked with national and international leaders. He has served on numerous executive boards and councils including the Urban League, Midwest Health Initiative, Boy Scouts of America, MO Association of School Administrators, the MO School Board Association, the Federal Reserve Bank advisory committee, and the Harris Stowe-State University Board of Regents appointed by Governor Jay Nixon, the Construction Education Foundation, and the Grand Commission for African-American Males of Sigma Pi Phi.  

State Level Education Leadership

Dr. McCoy served as an adviser on the following state-level committees and task-forces:

New Missouri Process and Resource Standards Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Adviser/Advisory Committee Member, 2010-2013

New Missouri Schools District and College Accreditation Framework, Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 5), DESE Adviser/Advisory Committee Member 2010-2013

New Model for New Teacher Leaders Standards, DESE, Adviser/Advisory Committee Member, 2010-2012

New MO Standards-Based Performance Assessment for School Leaders, Development Member, 2013

Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) Advisory Committee Member on Online Learning and Virtual Schools, 2011, 2012

Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) Accountability Committee Member, 2010-2014

Missouri Interim House Education Committee Adviser on Education Legislative Issues 2012, 2013, 2014

Missouri Joint House and Senate Education Committee Adviser on Legislative Issues 2013, 2014

National Level Leadership

In 2015 and 2016,  Dr. McCoy was a chief consultant and advisory board member to the Center for Innovation in Education DBA Base 11, which focused on helping thousands of high potential low-income high school students achieve post-secondary programs, a STEM Internship, and admissions into college across America.   Partnering universities including California Institute of Technology (CalTech), University of Southern California, University of California-Irvine, MIT (Fab Labs) and scores of community colleges across the nation.  Base 11 is the first and only organization to own a UAV/drone airport in Nevada.  Dr. McCoy continues to serve on as a board member.  

In 2017 Dr. McCoy was invited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to be the only K-12 educator and superintendent of schools to serve on a five (5) year initiative called the Poverty and Geography Thematic Research Network Institute for Research on Poverty and U.S. Collaborative of Poverty Centers supported by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.   This network, co-led by Scott W. Allard, Professor of Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance of
the University of Washington and Michael A. Stoll, Professor Luskin School of Public Affairs of the University of California–Los Angeles advances policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of poverty in relation to geographic differences to inform policies and programs at the national, state, and local levels.  Funding is provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
(ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

IRP, its affiliates, and partners have a long, rich history of advancing our understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in the United States and informing policies and programs to combat them.