Educator Profile    Educators

Dr. Gary Stark (AR '01)

Vice Chairman

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
Fayetteville, AR

At the time of the Award, Dr. Gary Stark was:

Helen Tyson Middle School
Springdale, AR

Biographical Information

Dr. Gary Stark serves as vice chairman of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). In this role, he supports and advises NIET staff and the board of directors in their mission to advance educator effectiveness.

NIET is a national nonprofit that oversees one of the nation's largest multi-year, multi-state efforts to improve educator effectiveness. In addition, NIET works with state education agencies, universities and school districts across America to develop and implement educator evaluation systems, school support and turnaround models, and the educator effectiveness technologies and trainings that support these initiatives.

Stark spearheaded the development for NIET's web-based training portals that have become essential tools for educators and leaders involved in both the organization’s signature initiatives: the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement and the Educator Effectiveness Series.

Known for forging strong, collaborative partnerships, Stark's efforts have led to multiple federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) and Supporting Educator Effectiveness Development (SEED) grants.

Prior to his leadership at NIET, Stark held various senior management roles with NIET and the Milken Family Foundation. Initially appointed as a TAP state executive director in 2001, he played an integral role in developing the initial TAP pilot sites around the country. As the Milken Family Foundation’s vice president of program development, he led implementation for new schools and states participating in the early Teacher Advancement Program initiative, including technical assistance on performance-based compensation and teacher evaluation as well as the funding and budget restructuring associated with comprehensive reform.

Throughout his career, Stark has met with thousands of teachers, principals and school administrators, and has provided expert testimony before school boards, legislative committees and members of Congress. He has served on review committees and monitoring teams for the U.S. Department of Education and state education agencies, and held positions as an executive director, assistant professor and special assistant to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education.

Stark's passion for improving education on a national scale stems from his own experience as an educator in his home state of Arkansas. He served as a classroom teacher and assistant principal, and received the national Milken Educator Award as a principal. He holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Arkansas.

Related Connections

Article: Milken Educators: Where Are They Now? (Part 2)

Article: Growing with TAP

Dr. Gary Stark In The News

Eagle River High School Teacher Receives $25K Award
KTUU-TV  |  NBC  |  Feb 01, 2018  |  Anchorage, AK

Central Decatur Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award
Iowa Public Radio  |  NPR  |  Nov 29, 2017  |  Iowa City, IA

Listen: SISD Teacher Wins Prestigious Milken Educator Award
KSTX-FM  |  Texas Public Radio  |  Feb 08, 2017  |  San Antonio, TX

Rogers Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award, $25,000
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette  |  Nov 19, 2016  |  Little Rock, AR

Nashville School of the Arts Teacher Misty Ayres-Miranda Selected for National Milken Educator Award
Children First  |  Metro Public Schools  |  Nov 10, 2015  |  Nashville, TN

DeSoto Parish Teacher Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
KTBS  |  ABC  |  Feb 27, 2015  |  Shreveport, LA

North DeSoto Elementary Teacher Surprised with $25K Milken Educator Award
KEEL-AM  |  Feb 27, 2015  |  Shreveport, LA

Additional Information


1990 University of Central Arkansas, B.S.