Martinsville City Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Zebedee Talley has been selected as a recipient of the 2022 Trailblazer Award by the Radford University Black Alumni Networking Group. Talley attended an awards ceremony and brunch in Radford on Saturday.
The Trailblazer Award was created to honor Black Radford alumni who exemplify the quality of excellence and have performed outstanding service throughout their career.
Talley received his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Radford University in 1994 and was named student of the year. He went on to graduate from Virginia Tech in 2009 with his doctorate in Educational Leadership.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to receive this wonderful award,” Talley said. “I would like to thank God, my family, my Worship Center family, and outstanding professional coworkers for their unfailing support. Education is the great equalizer, and I am determined to ensure that all of our children achieve a quality education.”
All of Talley’s 45-year teaching experience has been dedicated to MCPS. Since joining the staff in 1978, Talley has served as history teacher, gifted teacher, and U.S. government teacher at Martinsville High School, where he also coached track, cross country, and basketball, and founded the Martinsville High School Gospel Choir. He later was named vice-principal of Martinsville High School and Martinsville Middle School, then co-principal of Martinsville High School, eventually becoming principal of Patrick Henry Elementary. Talley was named schools superintendent of MCPS in 2015.
In addition to this most recent honor, Talley has amassed numerous accolades over the years, including Martinsville High School’s Teacher of the Year, the NAACP Clyde Williams Award, and several Piedmont District Coach of the Year awards. He was the recipient of the Omega Citizen of the Year in 2017.
Talley serves as a member of the United Way Executive Board, the University of Virginia Superintendents’ Advisory Committee and Planning Committee, AASA National Superintendents Association, Virginia Association of School Superintendents (as Region 6 Chair and past president), Piedmont Arts Advisory Board, Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation Board, and the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Superintendents Executive Board. Additionally, he pastors the United Worship Center Church in Pelham, NC. He is married to Patricia, and they have three children, Zeb III, Chris, Ashley, and nine grandchildren.