By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Thomas Street Elementary Principal Debbie Davis announced on Thursday that she will retire from the district at the end of the current school year.
Davis, who has been an educator for more than 35 years, will be leaving for an opportunity to work with a program that uses hands-on experiences to teach elementary school students about math and science skills.
Davis piloted the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s RIDES, or Roadways in Developing Elementary Students, program in 2001. Her new position will involve traveling to other states to spread the program there and train teachers in it.
“Everyone in the district has been supportive and wonderful and I can not say enough good things about my experience in the district,” she said. “There are times when you have to make those tough decisions about the next part of your life.”
Davis has been a principal for 17 years, including 14 in the Tupelo Public School District. She spent 12 years at Pierce Street Elementary before moving to Thomas Street before the 2009-10 school year. This year, she was named Tupelo’s Administrator of the Year, an award she had also won in 2003-2004.
When asked, Davis said her decision had nothing to do with the recent upheaval in the district.
“It was a very difficult decision that I anguished over because I love my district and my school and the parents and students,” she said. “There are just some wonderful career opportunities that have been coming to me that I feel like I need to pursue.”