Holloway chosen as Starkville Schools chief

By Staff and wire reports

STARKVILLE — Lewis Holloway is Starkville School District’s new superintendent.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the district’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted Thursday to select Holloway, who has spent the last five years as superintendent of Bulloch County Schools in Statesboro, Ga.

“I think, ultimately, he has lots of experience,” said Keith Coble, board president. “He’s been a superintendent for many years and at different districts. He’s been a superintendent in college towns. Those were some of the most obvious reasons we chose him.”

Holloway has been a superintendent for 26 years, having also served in Alaska, Arkansas and elsewhere in Mississippi. In addition, he’s worked as a teacher, and principal at both the elementary and high school levels.

Holloway’s four-year, $175,000 contract with the SSD is effective July 1, but Coble said there’s a chance he could start sooner. He replaces Judy Couey, who resigned last spring and earned $130,000 per year.

Coble said Holloway’s public presentation was impressive, though the evaluation sheets stakeholders submitted to the board weren’t unanimous. “We got a lot of constructive comments,” he said. “Ultimately, we talked quite at length about the comments and the things we received.”

Holloway noted that Bulloch’s test scores in grades three, five and eight have gone up in each of his five years. Additionally, Holloway highlighted his strong relationship with the community, which helped three local option sales tax referendums pass and fund more than $150 million in new school facilities.

“Certainly, Dr. Holloway is very oriented toward achievement,” Coble said. “He’s quite aware of the challenges of the common core. But one of the things that impressed us was he said he’s going to come into the district and listen.

“His intent is to come in here, get up to speed, before he makes any decisions about direction.”

Holloway, who holds a master’s degree from Mississippi State, has relatives in Columbus, and his wife Karen is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women. He has said his wife and one of his sons will make the move with him from Georgia back to Mississippi.

“Everyone’s excited, even my son who is working up in Alaska,” Holloway said. “We’ve got a lot of happy family members.”