The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees has named Eddie Peasant the District’s new superintendent.
The board voted unanimously to select Peasant, a former Mississippi Administrator of the Year, to lead the District. Peasant is currently assistant superintendent of the Tupelo School District, where he oversees secondary education, athletics, technology, dual enrollment and discipline. Peasant has also served as principal of Clinton High School and Gulfport Middle School.
The board agreed Peasant’s successes and experiences at the secondary level make him uniquely qualified for the District’s top position as it prepares to begin construction on a new sixth and seventh grade school that combines the resources of SOCSD and Mississippi State University and promises to reimagine middle school and teacher training in Mississippi and beyond.
“He’s been a highly-effective administrative leader in large, diverse school districts like SOCSD where academics, arts, athletics and extra-curricular offerings are equally important to a student’s comprehensive educational experience,” said school board president Jenny Turner. “He’s also very familiar with the transition from middle school to high school, and he’s very knowledgeable about how ninth grade academies can improve student achievement which falls in line with the District’s future plans for Armstrong Middle School.”
The consolidation plan for the new District calls for Armstrong Middle School to become a preparatory school for eighth and ninth grade students after the MSU-SOCSD Partnership School opens for sixth and seventh grade students.
As high school principal, Peasant wrote “Improving Student Achievement: Can 9th Grade Academies Make a Difference?,” which was published in the International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership.
“It’s 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 forward with Dr. Peasant.”
Peasant spent the entire day in the district on Thursday as part of the interview process, visiting schools and meeting with four stakeholder focus groups before interviewing with the school board.
Peasant earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s degree from Mississippi College.
His official start date is July 1.