The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees has selected three finalists to interview for the position of superintendent.
The finalists are Tupelo School District Assistant Superintendent Eddie Peasant, Scott County School District Superintendent Tony McGee, and Tullahoma, Tennessee School District Superintendent Dan Lawson.
McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, the firm contracted to conduct the search, shared the full applications of 43 individuals who applied for the position and met all qualifications with board on Tuesday. The board narrowed the list to three during an executive session that lasted several hours.
“We have a very strong pool,” said Jenny Turner, school board president. “This search yielded almost double the number of applicants from the last search, indicating a greater interest in the district and the position.”
The District is in its second year of a county-wide consolidation plan that includes the construction of a sixth and seventh grade school, a high-profile project that combines the resources of the District and Mississippi State University and promises to reimagine middle school and teacher training in Mississippi and beyond.
“It is an exciting time for our community and our district as we prepare to break ground on one of the most innovative schools from programs to facilities for 6th and 7th grades in the southeast,” added Turner. “We’re ready to take the next step in the search process to identify the person who can best lead the District forward.”
Each candidate will spend a full day in the District as part of the interview process, which will include question and answer sessions with four focus groups that represent various district and community stakeholders who previously participated in listening sessions regarding the search. The board will also interview the candidates during executive session. This next phase of the search begins Thursday and concludes Monday.
About the candidates
Peasant has been an assistant superintendent in the Tupelo School District since 2014, where he oversees secondary education. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s degree from Mississippi College. Prior to becoming an assistant superintendent, Peasant served as principal of Clinton High School for six years.
McGee has been a superintendent since 2008. He’s in his second year as superintendent of Scott County Schools. He previously served as superintendent in Kosciusko for seven years. He holds two degrees from Mississippi State University including his doctorate. McGee earned his master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Lawson has been superintendent of Tullahoma, Tennessee School District since 1997. He earned his doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 1993. He also holds degrees from the University of Missouri and Missouri State University. Lawson also has experience as a superintendent and principal in the Mountain Grove, Missouri School District.