The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees appointed Starkville High School Principal David Baggett as the district’s incoming assistant superintendent for personnel and secondary curriculum and instruction Thursday.
Baggett assumes the new role July 1. His salary was set at $120,000 annually.
Trustees reached into the district ranks and promoted Baggett after receiving 14 other applications for the position and interviewing five total candidates. His promotion was unanimously approved by the school board.
Starkville School District operated with two assistant superintendents before it merged with the Oktibbeha County School District. State lawmakers granted the consolidated system a third position in their original merger legislation.
The school board will now turn its attention to filling the soon-to-be vacant SHS leadership role, and Baggett is expected to play a part in selecting his replacement.
A timetable for hiring a new principal was not unveiled Thursday.
“I really have mixed emotions on this because I absolutely love the kids and the staff that I work with at Starkville High School, but I’m still excited,” he said. “I’ll still be able to work with them…and broaden my scope to work with all employees to try and help provide the best education possible for the students here at the Starkville-Oktibbeha school district.”
Baggett said he’ll use his first days as assistant superintendent to evaluate districtwide needs by talking to the various constituencies within SOCSD.
“I think it’s very important for any good leader to go in and evaluate, to see where the problems lie. From there, I’ll work with them … to accomplish things where we have deficiencies,” he said.
School board members Keith Coble and Eddie Myles and Jenny Turner praised the work conducted by the district’s search committee. Myles said Baggett’s hire reflects the strength of SOCSD’s staff.
“I’m glad we were able to have a quality candidate in-house that we could continue to show other administrators that if they stay around in the district, hopefully they can continue up and be granted some time (in) higher employment,” Myles said.
Baggett joined the school district in 2014 after serving as Ocean Springs High School’s principal. There, the school received an A designation each year from the Mississippi Department of Education and 16 state athletic championships.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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