By Emma Crawford Kent
TUPELO – When Art Dobbs became principal of Pierce Street Elementary, he arrived ready to keep up the good work already being done at the school and to help the students and staff continue to grow.
Now, he’s being recognized for his leadership.
Dobbs was named the Tupelo Public School District’s 2017 administrator of the year. He was recognized at TPSD’s Tuesday school board meeting.
“I’m really honored to receive this award. It represents the wonderful staff, students, parents and community we have at Pierce Street Elementary,” Dobbs said. “I’m sincerely grateful for this recognition from Tupelo Public Schools.”
Dobbs, 40, was selected by his colleagues and TPSD superintendent Gearl Loden.
A life-long resident of Tupelo, Dobbs graduated from Tupelo High School in 1994. In 2001, he returned to Tupelo to teach history and physical education at THS.
Dobbs also coached THS baseball and TMS football.
He went on to become an assistant principal at THS before being named principal at Pierce Street in 2014.
Dobbs said his goal as principal at Pierce Street has been and will continue to be the growth of each and every student.
“I inherited a great staff and group of teachers,” Dobbs said. “The ball was already rolling, and we’ve just kept it moving and set goals and we’re still working on those.”
For Dobbs, a passion for public education in Tupelo runs in the family.
Dobbs’ father, Dale, served as principal at several Tupelo schools and his mother, Ruth, served as a teacher and federal programs director. His wife, Shelly, is also an educator.
Dobbs credits his parents for inspiring him, along with the many teachers and administrators he has worked with throughout his career.
“I’ve had great mentors along the way,” Dobbs said.
TPSD Superintendent Gearl Loden said he has enjoyed watching Dobbs grow from assistant principal to principal in the five years he has worked with him.
“His staff is at Pierce Street is well-rounded and very capable. I also appreciate that he’s taken an active leadership role in our district’s administrative team,” Loden said. “It’s really great seeing him being recognized by his peers.”
Dobbs is now also in the running for Mississippi State Administrator of the Year, an award from the Mississippi Department of Education designed to recognize outstanding achievement and performance by Mississippi school administrators and bring effective administrative practices to the attention of others.
The winner of that award will be announced in the spring.