Abigail Nowlin Crawford is a retired educator, consultant, and the founder of ANC Focus Consulting Services, where she provides clients with customized coaching in professional development, teacher training and in-classroom solutions. Her passion for education was inspired by her mother, who placed a high value on schooling and encouraged a young Ms. Crawford to do the same. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Francis Marion University and continued her education at Georgia State University, earning a Master of Science in education in 1991. Throughout her teaching career, Ms. Crawford developed an interest in school leadership, and she returned to school in the late 1990s, completing an educational specialist degree in administration and supervision at Lincoln Memorial University in 2000.
In 1977, Ms. Crawford began teaching science at C.L. Harper High School in Atlanta, where she would remain for the next 15 years. She was named science department chair at S.H. Archer High School in 1996, and was recruited as a science model teacher leader for Atlanta Public Schools’ School Reform Team 5 in 1999. Ms. Crawford returned to school administration full-time in 2001 as assistant principal of D.M. Therrell High School, rising to principal of the School of Entrepreneurship at George Washington Carver High School from 2005 until 2008.
Widely recognized as an expert in school leadership with a strong background in classroom management and instruction, Ms. Crawford was selected to become associate superintendent and executive director of operations in the office of high schools at Atlanta Public Schools in 2008. She continued to work with Atlanta Public Schools with a focus on school turnaround and innovative teacher training until her retirement from public schools in 2012. Since 2014, Ms. Crawford has continued to share her experience and coaching techniques with educators and administrators across the world with ANC Focus Consulting Services.
Ms. Crawford has taken a hands-on approach to administration and educational outreach throughout her career, acting as events coordinator for the Georgia Science Olympiad, a judge for numerous science fairs, and a sponsor and instructor for many other science enrichment programs. She has been invited to speak at conferences and schools across Georgia including the Ron Edmonds Institute, Clark-Atlanta University, and multiple Harper-Archer programs. She is a former National Honor Society sponsor and remains on the board of the Georgia Alternative Education Association and the National Alternative Education Association. Among many other honors, Ms. Crawford has been recognized for increasing the graduation rate at the Carver School of Entrepreneurship, presented with two SMSEA Outstanding Service Awards, and is a grantee of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Upper Chattahoochee River Keepers, and SECME, Inc.
As a part of her dedication to her field, Ms. Crawford holds nearly a dozen specialized teaching and leadership credentials and is active in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Georgia Association for Alternative Education, the National Alternative Education Association, and the National Dropout Prevention Network. She considers her greatest accomplishment to have been helping children grow to reach their full potential, and attributes her success to an ongoing passion for her work and always putting the needs of students first. Ms. Crawford is the author of two books, “My Mamma Said,” 2019, and “Words Overflowing,” 2021, and hopes to continue to focus on writing in the years to come.