For Immediate Release: April 1, 2022
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) today announced the 2022 Mississippi Administrator of the Year (MAOY) is Kara Killough, principal of Northwest Rankin Elementary School in the Rankin County School District, and the 2022 Mississippi Teacher of the Year (MTOY) is Brittany Morgan of Petal High School in the Petal School District.
The winners were announced at a program today led by MDE’s Office of Teaching Leading at the Jackson Convention Complex. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright attended today’s program, which also recognized the 2022 Mississippi Parent of the Year, Tara Denevan, a mother of two students in the Oxford School District.
“I offer a heartfelt congratulations to the recipients of this year’s awards,” Wright said. “The winners and finalists represent the best of Mississippi’s hardworking teachers and administrators, and they all deserve recognition for their leadership and dedication to helping students excel.”
The annual Mississippi Administrator of the Year program honors an administrator who demonstrates superior ability to inspire teachers, to employ exemplary leadership practices and to participate as an active member of the community. The recipient receives a $5,000 stipend and shares expertise through various presentations and activities for the improvement of education in the state.
The annual Mississippi Teacher of the Year program recognizes exemplary teachers in the state who inspire students, demonstrate leadership both inside and outside the classroom and serve as active members of the community. The award recipient also receives a $5,000 stipend and will share expertise through various presentations and activities. Morgan will represent Mississippi in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
In describing her personal philosophy, Killough stated, “Connections are the key to unlocking potential in all students. When educators challenge, support and inspire their learners, they become the student’s biggest champions. Educators also need champions themselves for encouragement and motivation, so they can continue to share their passion of learning. The field of education is a beautiful place to partner with others and make a powerful difference in the world around us.”
Morgan, who teaches 11th-12th grade history, described her personal philosophy by stating, “A quality education that includes tolerance, critical thinking and teamwork is critical in the development of young minds.”
MAOY and MTOY finalists, representing each of Mississippi’s four congressional districts, were announced last month. MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading chose the eight finalists from the pool of individuals selected by school districts as the District Teacher of the Year and District Administrator of the Year throughout the state. After MDE interviews with the eight finalists, Killough and Morgan were chosen as the state’s top two winners.
Should either the 2022 Administrator or Teacher of the Year be unable to fulfill their duties, an alternate candidate has been selected for each role. The alternate for 2022 Administrator of the Year is Dr. Kiana Pendleton, principal at Laurel Magnet School of the Arts in the Laurel School District; and the alternate for 2022 Teacher of the Year is Erin Fortenberry, who teaches 10th-12th grade science at North Pike High School in the North Pike School District.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.