SuperTalk Mississippi

Mississippi principals earn prestigious leadership credential

RIDGELAND, Miss.- Mississippi had 14 principals selected to be among the first educators in the nation to receive the Distinguished Principal credential from the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL). 

These educators were recognized because of their strategic leadership sills and success in encouraging students to achieve. They were selected after an evaluation that included 150 pilot districts and 1,100 schools across three states.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday in Ridgeland to honor their achievement. In attendance were state education leaders including Mississippi Board of Education Members Buddy Bailey and Johnny Franklin, Mississippi House Education Committee Chairman John L. Moore, and Dr. Laurie Smith, Education and Workforce Policy Adviser to Gov. Phil Bryant, along with the NISL.
The 2016 Mississippi Distinguished Principals include Kara Killough (Rankin), Dawn Hearn (Harrison), Kim Hurst (Madison), Shelly Simmons (Harrison), Jessica Smith (Madison), Cole Surrell (Winona), Sandra Case Wilks (Gulfport), Lyle Williams (Grenada), Miskia Davis (Sunflower), Fannie Dillard Green (Madison), Cynthia Grimes (Harrison), Jessica Hodges (Rankin), Lee Pambianchi (Rankin) and Chris Perritt (Madison). A parallel credential—National School Leadership Coach—was created to recognize former school leaders with equally strong records of success. Pamela Simon (Rankin), Melissa Philley (Madison) and Cedrick Ellis (McComb) received the National School Leadership Coach credential at today’s ceremony.

These individuals will now be apart of the development of the first-of-its-kind credentialing system for school leaders.

The NISL is building this system based on international bench-marking research conducted by the National Center on Education and the Economy. This will allow for principals to have a transparent codified and respected leadership development system. It supports and rewards them as they progress throughout their careers.

This is the pilot program, taking place in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Missisippi funded by a three-year, $11 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant program.

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