By Chris Kieffer
TUPELO – Tupelo School Board member Joe Babb was impressed when he brought his children to Joyner Elementary on a recent morning.
Although temperatures were in the single digits, Principal Kim Foster was outside greeting the students as they arrived.
Babb and others praised Foster, the school district’s Administrator of the Year, for her servant leadership, her passion and her tireless work to support teachers and students. Foster, who is in her third year of leading the kindergarten to second-grade school, was recognized during Tuesday’s school board meeting at the Hancock Leadership Center.
“It is obvious she is well-loved by her staff, and that enthusiasm carries over to her students,” Babb said.
Joyner music teacher Lynne Mize spoke of seeing Foster scrubbing the floors in the bathroom and working early in the morning, late in the evening and on weekends.
She praised Foster’s communication skills and her ability to help teachers improve in a nonthreatening way.
“She is one of the finest people I have been around,” Mize said. “She has a heart of gold, and she really models what being a servant is.”
Prior to working at Joyner, Foster was an assistant principal at Rankin Elementary and also worked as an administrative intern and a teacher at Tupelo Middle. She began her teaching career in Anderson, S.C.
She now will compete for honors in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
“I’m completely humbled knowing there are so many deserving administrators,” Foster said. “Our teachers are phenomenal, and we are called to inspire and lead our teachers who directly impact with our parents the lives of our students.”
Teacher Allyson McGraw said Foster does things without taking credit, and Joyner Family School Coordinator Angie Haynes called Foster “very deserving” of the award.
“She goes above and beyond every day to make sure these kids get what they need,” Haynes said.
After she was honored by the school board, Foster spoke about all of the people who contribute to the school’s success.
“It is easy to see why she is administrator of the year,” Superintendent Gearl Loden said. “In typical Kim Foster fashion, she is giving all of the credit away.”