For Immediate Release: June 17, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has appointed chief of staff Dr. Washington Cole IV as interim superintendent of Noxubee County School District, which became a District of Transformation in 2018. He replaces Rodriguez Broadnax, who is leaving the district June 30 to lead a Michigan school district.
Since 2017, Cole has provided oversight to the interim superintendents of districts placed under state control because of a state of emergency or a persistent history of poor academic performance. He provides direction, guidance and support throughout the district and school transformation process while district leaders work to improve instructional programs and district-wide management. The District of Transformation designation puts districts under state leadership until they develop a track record of quality management and improved student achievement.
Noxubee became a District of Transformation because of serious violations of federal and state law and accreditation standards, severe financial issues, inappropriate standards of governance, and a continued pattern of poor academic performance. Under MDE’s control, the district has resolved its financial, governance and accreditation issues and has improved academic performance. Though the pandemic interrupted annual state assessments and accountability grades, district assessment data indicate the formerly F-rated district was on track to earn a C grade. Mississippi’s other District of Transformation, the Tunica County School District, improved its grade from an F to a C after it was placed under state control.
Cole has more than 20 years of state-level K-12 and higher education administration experience. His areas of expertise include school and district improvement, financial management, federal programs, student achievement and growth, instructional support and training, leadership development, human resources and operations. He has served as MDE’s chief of staff throughout the 8-year tenure of Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. During this time, Cole has helped Wright’s administration make Mississippi a national leader in education reform and achieve historic academic growth.
Cole earned his B.S. and M.S. from Jackson State University and his Ed.S. in Educational Administration and Supervision and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Delta State University.
Jean Cook, APR
Director of Public Relations