News releases and media advisories are issued using a media list managed by the MSBA Communications Director. If you would like to be added to the media list, please send your full name, organization and any other contact information via email. All inquiries from the media should be made through the MSBA Communications Director. MSBA will gladly assist the media concerning various education, and in particular school board policy-related, issues in a timely manner.


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Entries for April 2013

FOR RELEASE: April 29, 2013

CONTACT: Linda Buford-Burks, Director of Communications, 601.924.2001; lburks@msbaonline.org

CLINTON, MS -- Pass Christian Board President Randall Dewitt, Greenville Board Member Jesse King, and Tupelo Board President Elizabeth Stone have been appointed to temporarily fill vacancies on the MSBA Board of Directors. The three will serve until the next meeting of the MSBA Delegates Assembly, set for November 12 during MSBA’s Fall Leadership Conference. The vacancies occurred when former directors were not re-elected / re-appointed to their school boards. The board members have been appointed to represent Congressional District 4 - Dewitt; Congressional District 2 - King; and, Congressional District 1 - Stone.

MSBA bylaws allow the association’s president to temporarily fill vacancies, giving the membership a chance to vote on permanent replacements at the next Delegates Assembly. The next meeting of the MSBA Board of Directors will be in July.

Dewitt has been a member of the Pass Christian School Board of Trustees for four terms, currently serving as board president. A retired accountant, he works part-time as a teacher and coach at Hancock High School during baseball season. Dewitt is a strong supporter of military veterans, delivering speeches annually at schools and various community forums. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign War, and the American Legion. He is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, Georgia State University and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Dewitt and his wife Phyllis have four grown sons, two of them teachers.

King, school board member in the Greenville School District since March 2011, also is superintendent of the North Bolivar School District. Prior to becoming North Bolivar’s superintendent, he was federal programs director in the Leland School District. King, also a former high school principal in the Leland district, earned the Master of Secondary Education degree from Delta State University and an undergraduate degree from Mississippi Valley State University. In addition to being a board member and superintendent, King also pastors Greater St. Peter Baptist Church in Greenville and serves on the Board of Directors of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) in Little Rock, Arkansas. He and wife Sandra have four grown daughters and a son, who is in college.

Stone is serving her fourth year on the Tupelo School District Board of Trustees. She has previously served as vice president and secretary. A graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education, Stone earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After spending 10 years teaching high school chemistry and physics, she now is an active volunteer in her community, where she has served as PTO president, Junior Auxiliary School Aid Chairman, and the Association for Excellence in Education grants chair.


Posted in: News Releases


CONTACT Denotris Jackson, MSBA Director of Policy / Advocacy, 601.924.2001; djackson@msbaonline.org

CLINTON, MS –The MSBA Prospective Superintendent Leadership Academy (PSLA) has successfully concluded its first year.  A total of twenty-two administrators from 17 school districts completed PSLA requirements, thereby earning their Certificate of Completion, presented during the last class meeting on April 18, 2013.  “This inaugural class is an impressive group of future leaders in our state,” stated Dr. Mike Waldrop, MSBA Executive Director.”  He added that “The next class has a high benchmark to strive for but we know they will be up to the challenge.”
Academy graduates are:

  • Dr. Robin R. Ballard, Assistant Superintendent, Lowndes County
  • C. Jermaine Brown, Director of Student Services, Biloxi
  • Dr. Deadra Cassell, Director of Curriculum / Professional Development, West Jasper
  • Bernard Stephen Chandler, Superintendent, Tunica County
  • Debra Dace, Ph. D., Curriculum / Testing Coordinator, Tunica County
  • Valarie Davis, Ed. D., Principal, Coahoma County
  • Dexter T. Green, former Principal, Tunica County, newly appointed Superintendent, Okolona
  • Toriano Holloway, Ph. D., Assistant Superintendent, Starkville
  • Vikki Landry, Director of Federal Programs, Bay St. Louis Waveland
  • Dr. June B. Leigh, Director of Curriculum, Professional Development and Assessment, Aberdeen
  • Dr. Wendy McCullough, Adjunct Professor, East Mississippi Community College
  • Dr. Karen R. Norwood, Assistant Superintendent, Biloxi
  • Alan Oubre, Ph. D., Executive Director of Student Support, Hattiesburg
  • Eddie J. Peasant, Ed. D., Principal, Clinton
  • Dr. Dorothy Lynn Prestwich, Assistant Superintendent, Clarksdale
  • Jason N. Sargent, Ph. D., Executive Director, Office of Research, Evaluation and Assessment, Jackson
  • Craig A. Shannon, Deputy Superintendent, Columbus
  • Dr. Loretta Shird, Coordinator of Federal Programs, Okolona
  • Christine D. Spinks, Assistant Superintendent, Long Beach
  • Larry H. Watson, Director of Federal Programs / SPED, Winona
  • Christopher J. Williams, Sr., Ph. D., Principal, Jackson County; newly appointed Assistant Superintendent, Ocean Springs
  • Dr. Janice Wilson, Assistant Superintendent, Biloxi

“We could not be more pleased with the educational excellence and professional qualities exhibited by the Academy members,” stated Denotris Jackson, MSBA Director of Policy / Advocacy and PSLA Advisor.  “We are grateful for what they, along with the faculty, contributed to each class session,” she added. 

The MSBA Prospective Superintendent Leadership Academy is a professional development program designed to prepare potential candidates for the challenging position of superintendent in Mississippi’s public schools.  The Academy provides a minimum of thirty (30) hours of intensive study in the areas of the superintendent’s role; legal issues; state accountability and accreditation; ethics law; school board meetings; data-based decision making; school finance and insurance; personnel, community relations; team building; and governing by policy.

Dates for the next PSLA will be announced over the summer.

Posted in: News Releases
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