By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – New Albany Superintendent Charles Garrett will take a leadership role with the Wellspring Center for Professional Futures, it was announced Monday during a press conference at the CREATE Foundation.
Garrett will retire as superintendent in New Albany at the end of June. He has led that district for 11 years. He was the 2011 Mississippi Superintendent of the Year.
The Wellspring School will offer career-focused courses for students in the eight school districts in Pontotoc, Union and Lee Counties. Its operations will be funded by a $50 million endowment that Toyota is providing to enhance education in the three counties that joined together to attract the automaker.
The goal of the school is to offer vocational courses that none of the individual schools would have the capability to offer on their individual campuses. Plans are still being developed about which courses will be offered and how the logistics will work.
The school is also currently seeking money to fund its construction, and its targeted opening has not yet been determined.
Under Garrett’s leadership, New Albany has built a new elementary school and remodeled its middle and high schools. In the state’s accountability model, the district is ranked High Performing, the second highest of seven levels. New Albany High School is ranked a Star school, the highest ranking.
Garrett has also helped the district install a dual-enrollement program that allows its students to also earn credit at Northeast Mississippi Community College and Blue Mountain College. He has been in education for more than 35 years.