Tupelo hires new principals, leaders

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo School District filled a pair of elementary school vacancies on Thursday by hiring a pair of administrators from the Pontotoc City School District.
Tupelo selected Mitzi Moore to lead Parkway Elementary School and Chad Chism to head Thomas Street Elementary School. Moore is currently principal at Pontotoc Middle School, and Chism is principal at Pontotoc Elementary School.
“Mr. Chism is very approachable, and he wants to develop teachers in a positive way,” said Tupelo Superintendent Gearl Loden. “Dr. Mitzi Moore comes very well recommended. She is very energetic, and I think teachers and the community will enjoy working with her.”
The school district also hired a third Pontotoc administrator, choosing Pontotoc High School Principal Eddie Moore as a curriculum specialist in its curriculum department. He and Mitzi Moore are married.
The moves leave Pontotoc with three principal vacancies. Pontotoc Superintendent Karen Tutor could not be reached for comment on Thursday afternoon. Loden said Tupelo will benefit from the experience of three individuals from a school district that has been a leader in the region and the state.
Also hired on Thursday was Tracey Taylor, who will serve as grants coordinator/arts integration coordinator. Taylor has been principal of East Sunflower Elementary School since 2010.
Mitzi Moore is a 21-year veteran, who earned a doctorate of education degree. She has spent two years as principal at Pontotoc Middle School and one year as student services director for the Pontotoc County School District. Moore also taught special education and spent seven years as special education director for the Itawamba County School District.
“I know the Tupelo Public School District has put goals in place for increasing student achievement, and I’m honored to be part of that,” she said.
Chism has led Pontotoc Elementary School for six years after spending three years as assistant principal at Pontotoc High School.
“I know how highly Thomas Street is regarded,” he said. “I look forward to being a resource to teachers, students and parents any way I can.”
Current Thomas Street Principal Kay Collins is retiring at the end of the year, and Parkway Principal Anna Guntharp was named the district’s federal programs director.
Tupelo received 33 applicants for the two jobs, Loden said.

Click video to hear audio