Education

Four new principals in Moss Point part of ‘raising expectations’

New Moss Point School District principals, from left, are Joe Griffin at Moss Point High School, Susan Stachowski at Magnolia Middle School, Janice Thomas at Escatawpa Upper Elementary School and Brooks Delk at Moss Point Kreole Elementary.
New Moss Point School District principals, from left, are Joe Griffin at Moss Point High School, Susan Stachowski at Magnolia Middle School, Janice Thomas at Escatawpa Upper Elementary School and Brooks Delk at Moss Point Kreole Elementary. jvicory@sunherald.com

Superintendent Shannon Vincent announced the hire of four new principals Thursday, noting the hires are part of an effort to raise expectations within the school district.

The hires follow the school board’s decision to not renew the contracts of principals at four of its five schools last July.

The new principals are Brooks Delk at Moss Point Kreole Elementary; Janice Thomas at Escatawpa Upper Elementary; Susan Stachowski at Magnolia Middle School and Joe Griffen at Moss Point High School.

Delk was an assistant principal in the Pascagoula School District before coming to Moss Point.

Griffin was a principal and administrator in three school districts and taught English.

Susan Stachowski has 23 years of administration and education experience. She’s a 1987 Moss Point High School graduate.

Thomas is in her 17th year with the school district. She has 22 years of experience as an administrator.

Vincent is in her first year as superintendent. Moss Point hired her from the Pascagoula School District, where she was in charge of the Opportunity Center, that district’s alternative school.

Vincent is tasked with bringing the Moss Point School District up in ten separate metrics including raising graduation rates, reading and math scores and attendance rates across the district.

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Education identified students and teachers at Moss Point as “chronically absent.”

If the school doesn’t meet specific benchmarks set by the department of education, it’s in jeopardy of being taken over by the state.

Vincent said she is doing everything she can to bring expectations up. New principals, well-versed in reading and reading comprehension, will set a good example, she said.

“That’s definitely one of the things that stuck out to me in their resumes. They all have a solid background in reading and reading comprehension. Once you get the students reading comprehension up, they can do just about anything,” Vincent said.

“Drastic times call for drastic actions We have to do better. I know we can do better. When you give the students an expectation for performance, they’ll try to achieve that expectation,” she said.

All four principals said Thursday they have experience in teaching reading and reading comprehension to students. They also had proposals for getting students and parents more interested in school.

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