Mississippi Administrator, Teach of the Year finalists announced
Published 7:00 am Friday, March 17, 2023
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced Thursday the finalists for the 2023 Mississippi Administrator of the Year and the 2023 Mississippi Teacher of the Year.
The Mississippi Administrator of the Year program honors an administrator who demonstrates superior ability to inspire teachers, employs exemplary leadership practices and participates as an active member of the community. The recipient will receive a $5,000 stipend and will share expertise through various presentations, professional development, and activities for the improvement of education in the state.
Likewise, the Mississippi Teacher of the Year program recognizes exemplary teachers in the state. The award recipient will be asked to share expertise through various presentations, professional development, and activities for the improvement of education. The recipient also will receive a $5,000 stipend and will represent Mississippi in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
The recipients will be announced April 28, 2023, beginning at 11 a.m., at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson.
2023 Mississippi Administrator of the Year Finalists
- Congressional District 1 Finalist: Amy Johnson, Career and Technical Education Director
Lee County Career and Technical Center, Lee County School District
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “Education is a unified, continual, life-oriented process that continues from early childhood until death. Learners should be active participants in the learning process. Learners learn more by doing and involving the entire body in the process.”
- Congressional District 2 Finalist: Serenity Luckett, Principal
Highland Elementary School, Madison County School District
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “All children have infinite potential.”
- Congressional District 3 Finalist: Amanda Clark, Principal
Florence Elementary School, Rankin County School District
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “The success of every student and staff member should feel important, included, loved, and achieve academic success.”
- Congressional District 4 Finalist: Dr. Caterria Payton, Principal
Pascagoula High School, Pascagoula-Gautier School District
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “It is our job as administrators to be CHAMPIONS for our teachers by giving to them what we expect them to give our students. When teachers feel that they are seen, heard and valued, they are more emotionally sound and confident and are more likely to be effective CHAMPIONS for ALL students.”
2023 Mississippi Teacher of the Year Finalists
- Congressional District 1 Finalist: Lorna Golden
DeSoto County Career and Technical Center West, DeSoto County School District (11th – 12th Health Science II Clinical Services)
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “Student success starts with cultivating meaningful relationships and providing relevant student-centered lessons, while encouraging lifelong learning and community service.”
- Congressional District 2 Finalist: Lynsey McQueen
Dawson Elementary, Jackson Public Schools (3rd grade ELA, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies)
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “Education is centered on the acronym “FITSS”- focus, initiation, teamwork, support, and success.” She fully believes that if all individuals (educators, scholars, parents, the community, etc.) take the initiative to effectively work as a unit, continue to maintain a growth mindset, and support one another, success and excellence are inevitable.
- Congressional District 3 Finalist: April Dill
Starkville High School/Millsaps CTE, Starkville-Oktibbeha School District (9-12th Educator Preparation CTE)
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “I impact the lives of the many students I serve, a responsibility that extends far beyond the lesson. It is my mission to inspire, challenge, and help students reach their fullest potential, both in and out of the classroom. With the knowledge that every child is unique and brings varying strengths and weaknesses, I find ways to get to know my students and strive to make my classroom a community of learners, who feel safe, can contribute ideas freely, and are inspired and engaged with the learning process.”
- Congressional District 4: Louise Smith
Gautier Middle School, Pascagoula Gautier School District (7-8th Instrumental Music Education)
Personal Philosophy Snapshot: “The complex work of education is the great equalizer for our society, and teachers are the people who stand in the gap as bridges for students and their future.”