Biloxi administrator is a finalist for Hattiesburg schools superintendent

Janice Johnson, assistant superintendent of Biloxi Public School District.
Janice Johnson, assistant superintendent of Biloxi Public School District.

An assistant superintendent with the Biloxi School District is a finalist for superintendent of Hattiesburg schools.

Marcus Cathey, Board of Trustees president for the Hattiesburg district, said Janice Johnson is one of three finalists for the job.

Johnson is assistant superintendent for elementary programs and implementing staff development.

The other two finalists are Toriano Holloway, assistant superintendent of Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, and Tony McGee, superintendent of Scott County School District. All three hold doctorates.

Cathey said finalists will give 10-minute presentations about their goals for the Hattiesburg Public School District at a community meeting Sunday.

Johnson, a 22-year education veteran, rose through the ranks of the Biloxi school system. She began in 1994 as a teacher at Lopez Elementary and has served as a teacher, trainer, principal and district director before becoming assistant superintendent.

"I want to offer children the greatest opportunity to master the curriculum," she said. "Today's learners are tomorrow's leaders."

Johnson said she has applied for other positions, but the opportunity to become part of the Hattiesburg community drew her to apply there.

"I'm just going to be honest and open about who I am," she said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to be one of the top three candidates and I look forward to the board making their decision."

The board is replacing interim Superintendent Greg Ladner, whose term is up June 30. He was brought in to replace James Bacchus, who resigned after notifying the board there had been an unknown depletion in the district's fund balance.

Hattiesburg American contributed to this report.