By Chris Kieffer
NETTLETON – The superintendent of the Nettleton School District resigned on Tuesday night.
After meeting in closed session for about an hour, the School Board voted to accept the resignation of Russell Taylor as superintendent, effective Feb. 1. Retired former Baldwyn Superintendent Harvey Brooks will serve as the interim superintendent, beginning on Thursday.
Taylor will continue to serve the district as needed through the end of his contract, which ends June 30.
Taylor said after discussions with the board, “it was clear I had not been able to achieve the academic results that the students of the district deserve” and that the board felt new leadership was needed.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as the superintendent in a fine community such as Nettleton,” said Taylor, who is in his fifth year leading the district and 12th year working in it. “This is a results-driven business, and while we got some results I am proud of, unfortunately we didn’t get all the results needed. That is my responsibility.
“I plan to spend the remainder of my contract time in Nettleton helping the Board and leadership achieve their goals for the children of this district.”
Nettleton received a “D” rating from the Mississippi Department of Education this year, based on results of state tests taken by students last school year. The upper elementary received a “B,” high school a “C” and junior high a “D.” Last year, the district received a “C” or “Successful” rating. The district implemented an extensive reading program this year in an effort to improve its scores.
Brooks retired in June 2011 after eight years of leading Baldwyn Schools and 41 years as an educator. He spent one year coaching football at Nettleton during the 1970s. He’s also worked for schools in the Tishomingo County, Lee County, Calhoun County and Pontotoc County School Districts.
Nettleton School Board President Rhonda Patterson issued a statement on behalf of the school board.
“After the board’s discussion, it was clear we did not achieve the academic results needed,” she said. “We as the board felt we needed new leadership. Mr. Harvey Brooks will be the interim, and we will start looking for a new superintendent.”
The board hopes to have a permanent superintendent in place by the start of the next school year, she said.