The Tate County School District Board of Trustees has named Billy Ray (B.R.) Jones, Ph.D., as the district’s next superintendent.
“The enormous responsibility of selecting a superintendent for Tate County Schools has not been a task that was taken lightly,” board President Heather Ashe said. “The board has spent countless hours studying each candidate and we are confident that we have selected the right person for the position. We count it as a privilege to be a part of this team, and we are excited for the future of the Tate County School District.”
This is the last step in returning the district to full local control after it having been under conservatorship for the last five years.
In 2009, Governor Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency in the school district. Deficiencies in accreditation standards, as well as financial issues, resulted in the district being turned over to the state. Since that time, the district has raised its academic rating from a “D-at risk of failing” to a “B-High Performing” and has become financially stable.
The new Tate County School Board was elected in November 2013 and was charged with hiring a new superintendent before Conservator James Malone’s departure in July.
Jones comes to the district with a diverse background in education, including state, regional, and national experience.
Jones began his career in education in 1995 as a science teacher and coach, and has since held a variety of school leadership positions, such as athletic director, assistant principal, and supervising principal. He is currently the executive director of Educational Consulting, LLC, and is a national consultant in education.
According to a press release from the board, Jones’ honors and awards include: 2009 Wayne County School District Administrator of the Year; 2010 Mississippi Department of Education Administrator of the Year; and the 2010 Mississippi Educational Computing Association Administrator of the Year.
Jones is a University of Mississippi graduate. He earned his master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in school counseling, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi.
"I am very excited to be joining the Tate County School District team as school superintendent,” Jones said. “From the first meeting with the board, I sensed a positive connection. I look forward to partnering with the school board, principals, teachers, parents, and community leaders to provide the students of Tate County a well-rounded education that will prepare them for a bright future. Together, the sky is the limit!”