Welcome to our new CEO cohort!




Thirty-seven administrators from public school districts across Mississippi will gather virtually Aug. 30 for the first meeting of this year’s CEO Leadership Academy. CEO stands for Collaborating to Empower Others – a five-year partnership between the Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools (PREPS) and the Phil Hardin Foundation to help school leaders develop the tools they need to help students succeed. A statewide research and advocacy organization, PREPS is housed at William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus. Dr. Chuck Benigno is the executive director. “We are thrilled to announce this outstanding group of educators who are joining our CEO Leadership family. Over the past few years, graduates have enhanced their skills through a renewed focus on creating healthy school cultures based on empathy and respect. Bringing practitioners together from all over Mississippi creates a learning environment that is second to none and I can’t wait to get started,” Benigno said. Here’s a look at the 2021-22 CEO Leadership Academy class, hailing from 25 public school districts and all four Mississippi Congressional districts:

  • Jonathan Beasley, Pass Christian Public School District

  • Cassie Bridges, Lawrence County School District

  • J. Timothy Bryant, Marion County School District

  • LaWanda Campbell, Vicksburg Warren School District

  • Logan Cheek, Kosciusko School District

  • Sandra Danzey, Stone County School District

  • Kristin Davis, George County School District

  • Michael Dean, George County School District

  • Josh Dodd, Kosciusko School District

  • Katrina Dwyer, Biloxi School District

  • Heather Gordon, Vicksburg Warren School District

  • Carol Jones, Hattiesburg School District

  • Amy Kelley, Poplarville School District

  • Angela McHenry, Lauderdale County School District

  • Sherrod Miller, Meridian School District

  • Mable Moore, Meridian School District

  • Shacora Moore, Lauderdale County School District

  • Charles David Morgan, Lamar County School District

  • Tawanda Nichols, Vicksburg Warren School District

  • Phatasis O’Harroll, Vicksburg Warren School District

  • Elizabeth Overby, Yazoo County School District

  • Christopher Penton, Pearl River County School District

  • Ann-Marie Porter, Ocean Springs School District

  • Melissa Rouse, Vicksburg Warren School District

  • Zachari Ruff, Lauderdale County School District

  • Brooke Sibley, Newton County Schools

  • Gina Smith, Louisville School District

  • Matt Smith, Lowndes County School District

  • Joseph Stone, Kemper County School District

  • Jenny Story, Poplarville School District

  • Jessica Thomas, Newton County Schools

  • Maci Torres, Hancock County School District

  • Lealue Triplett, Okolona School District

  • Danya Turner, Louisville School District

  • Jerel Wade, Perry County School District

  • Brooke Walter, Petal School District

  • Lakaya Washington, McComb School District

“The goal of CEO Leadership Academy is for school leaders to collaborate, build networks and work together. By digging deep into the research and keeping abreast of best practices and strategies, they enhance teacher and student interactions,” said Dr. Patti Permenter, PREPS associate director. “This year’s academy will be mostly virtual due to COVID-19 concerns. However, this gives an opportunity for the group to network with colleagues from around the nation.” For more information, visit www.mspreps.org.




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