MPS Board to Make Decision Soon

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The final two candidates for superintendent of Meridian Public Schools went through the interview process Tuesday night in a public setting at Meridian High School.

Harrison Central principal, Dr. Tori Holloway, and Tupelo assistant superintendent, Dr. Fred Hill, answered questions Tuesday. Jackson Public Schools administrator, Dr. Rosie Payton, took her turn last week.

One by one the candidates answered questions and made a strong push for why they should be the head of the district.

"The role of the superintendent is the day to day administration of the school system itself," said Dr. Hill.

"I don't mind making the tough decisions, because we have to do what is best for the children," said Dr. Holloway.

The open process was a first for the district and one of the first for the state. Meridian residents were able to submit questions that were asked by school board members. They could hear the candidates give their answers, and later, those in attendance could hand in a written review of the candidates.

"We are very pleased that we did it this way," said Dr. Don Evans, school board president. "The reason we are is that we gave everyone the opportunity to be there. We can't force everybody, but we gave them the opportunity. We do want community involvement and it will be up to our leader to go out and generate this community involvement."

The issue of community involvement is one that Dr. Evans says the board is taking very seriously when making its decision. They want a person who can lead and inspire.

"We feel like the educational system in Meridian is the community's," said Evans. "And we wanted as much community involvement as we could get in the decision making process. And then as a board we will make a decision on the new superintendent for our school district."

Dr. Evans says he is pleased with the three candidates and is eager to see where the other board members stand.

The school board will meet Thursday to discuss the candidates and will make an announcement of their choice Monday, June 28.


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  • by Agreeing with teacher Location: Meridian on Jun 26, 2010 at 07:04 PM
    For the most part, Dr. Holloway's answers to the board members' questions were more "on target" for our district. I agree with you. He gave the best interview.
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Jun 26, 2010 at 08:37 AM
    The public interview process was only a portion of the process and I commend the board for making at least part of it public. I hope they take into consideration the viewer's evaluations and comments. It is the board's job to make policy and the super's job to run the district according to policy. They MUST work together to raise the bar, support the building principals and teachers so that the students' best interest will be served. That means a not-watered-down curriculum and fair grading system (translation-doing away w/the "recoverable F" guideline--if you SCORE a 20, you GET a 20--NOT a 50!), and a consistent zero tolerance disciplinary policy. Raising the bar means returning to these ideals--no-doubt it will meet with much resistance but it will be the only way to get the district back on track.
  • by teacher Location: Meridian on Jun 25, 2010 at 07:23 PM
    I had a chance to watch all three interviews on Channel 12. I was impressed with Dr. Holloway.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 25, 2010 at 04:10 PM
    Dr. Larabee was not among the three finalists that were publicly named. The board said a fourth candidate took another job, but I never saw where that person was identified to the public. I had the impression from the people I know who know him that he was not interested in having the job permanently. I have no idea if that is factual or not.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 25, 2010 at 08:39 AM
    There are three finalists. Originally, there were four, but one person accepted the offer of another job after he or she was named a finalist. So there are just three.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 25, 2010 at 06:22 AM
    Are there 3 candidates or 4? Is Dr. Larabe a candidate? I applaud the board for making it seem as if community involvement is sought, but in the end, I don't believe what the community thinks or wants will matter. Also, it doesn't matter who is chosen, there are going to be people who are not going to be satisfied. The best community involvement would be to put it on a ballot and let people vote for superintendent. Whoever is chosen will only be a figure head and spokesperson because the school board will actually make all decisions. However, perhaps this person can present innovative ideas and solutions to the board. Will the board listen? We should stay prayerful and supportive because in the end, it is all about the children.
  • by Praying Citizen Location: Meridian on Jun 24, 2010 at 07:54 AM
    Everyone in the area needs to pray for the board as they make this decision that will affect the students, parents, and community. May God lay on your heart His desires for the best candidate.
  • by Thanks MPSD school board Location: Meridian on Jun 23, 2010 at 06:12 PM
    Our school board is doing an outstanding job. The process of making the interview process public was an excellent idea, so those who were interested could attend. The key is for this community to work together and give your support to them as they work to make our district better for our children, teachers and administrators. Positive attitudes and support will yield positive results.
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