A rose to the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School. District Board of Trustees for its efforts to inform and solicit feedback from the public during its search for a new superintendent. More than 20 residents showed up to the Greensboro Center on Thursday evening to share their thoughts on the qualities and priorities they would like to see from the new superintendent.
David Lee from Hazard, Young and Attea Associates is leading the search for the new superintendent to replace Eddie Peasant, who will retire June 30. Lee engaged the audience with three main focal points: the district’s strengths, the district’s challenges and personal and professional qualities expected. In the past, superintendent searches have largely been conducted behind closed doors, so we welcome Thursday’s meeting as a sign that the board will allow the public continued access to the process as it continues.
A rose to the organizers and volunteers — Wilson and Lindsey Beck, Lois and Jerry Kappler, and Josh and Lisa Read in particular — for putting on this year’s Mississippi Spelling Bee, which was held Saturday at The W. A few months ago, it appeared that due to a lack of a sponsor, Mississippi would neither hold a state spelling bee nor send a representative to the national bee. Wilson Beck, the Chamber of Commerce president, quickly rallied local support for the bee: The Dispatch and C Spire helped with finances and The W stepped in to serve as host for the state spelling bee. Thanks to the efforts of these organizers and volunteers — and many others — the events will go on as in years past. We applaud the organizers and sponsors for stepping up and making this year’s competition a reality.
A rose to Columbus mayor Keith Gaskin, HR Director Pat Mitchell and interim CFO Linda Holliman for tracking down more than $1.8 million in hotel sales tax revenue that had accrued in the general fund that should have been disbursed to Trotter Convention Center. The three worked into the evening Thursday to locate and verify the funds after Trotter Center director Rogena Bonner mentioned during a work session earlier in the day that the Trotter had not been receiving those funds since at least 2019. All of the funds were seemingly accounted for in the city’s general fund, with an auditor’s confirmation of that pending. We commend Gaskin, Mitchell and Holliman for addressing the issue in such a quick manner.
A rose to David Campell, who was hired this week by East Mississippi Community College’s board of trustees as executive director of The Communiversity and its workforce training programs. A Senatobia native, Campbell has almost three decades of experience in workforce development at community colleges in Mississippi and, most recently, in Florida. His familiarity with both workforce development and the community college system makes him a natural fit for the job as he succeeds Courtney Taylor, who left for a position for the state’s workforce development agency. We wish Campbell all the best in this important new role.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.