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MDE Announces New Participants in the Superintendents’ Academy

August 27, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education announced today the participants in the second class of its Superintendents’ Academy, an advanced leadership training program to assist district leaders in their efforts to improve student outcomes.

The academy has been a priority of the MDE and the Mississippi Board of Education, and the Legislature appropriated $500,000 for the second consecutive year to fund the academy. Superintendents from 21 school districts across the state will review the latest technology for enhancing student learning, participate in advanced leadership training from some of the nation's foremost trainers of company executives, and train to improve the speed and quality of management decision making. 

They also will have an opportunity to visit other school districts to review practices that have helped make those districts successful. Participation in the academy is by invitation only, and to be selected is an honor for the superintendent and for his or her board and district, said Mike Kent, director of the academy. 

“Superintendents will gain knowledge that will help them with their management decisions no matter the size or location of the district,” Kent said. 

To assist districts in incorporating management concepts learned, the academy will host a three-day “visioning” session for academy superintendents and their boards where they will be led through joint leadership training and planning activities.  They will also meet with boards and superintendents from similar sized districts to share ideas for increasing student achievement and developing a vision for the future.

The MDE provided leadership training to 19 in the first class of participants last spring. Dr. Bob Thompson, a former school district superintendent and now director of the Center for Executive Leadership at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, is the lead faculty member of the academy. He has led superintendents’ academies in Texas and Arkansas for more than 20 years.

Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, said the inaugural class of superintendents spoke highly of the caliber of training they received, and she looks forward to the positive impact the Superintendents’ Academy will have on the second cohort of participants.

“The MDE is proud to offer these professional growth opportunities to our district leaders. They are instrumental in moving our state’s education system forward, and we want to support their efforts through leadership training,” she said.

The following superintendents are participants in the second class of the academy:

Billy Ellzey

Forrest County AHS

Burnell McDonald

West Point School District

Dr. Darryl Scoggin

Tate County School District

Dr. Lundy Brantley

Union City School District

Dr. Matt Dillon

Petal School District

Dr. Shannon Vincent

Moss Point School District

Eddie Anderson

Coffeeville School District

Dr. Gwendolyn Page

East Jasper School District

Jackie Pollock

Kemper County School District

James Johnson-Wadlington

West Bolivar Consolidated School District

Jay Foster

Senatobia School District

Michael Cates

Nettleton School District

Noal Cochran

Richton School District

Ray Carlock

Franklin County School District

Scott Cantrell

Monroe County School District

Stewart Glen Beard

Choctaw County School District

Tammy Fairburn

Lawrence County School District

Tess Smith

Lamar County School District

Tony Cook

Houston School District

Dr. Virginia M. Young

Newton Municipal School District

Will Russell

Jefferson Davis School District

Media Contact: 
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Communications Specialist