By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Dale Warriner will retire from the Tupelo Public School District in June after spending 25 years there as a counselor, principal and central office administrator.
During that time, Warriner led Mississippi’s first public school to have the Internet in its classrooms. She also has overseen one of the most successful public school pre-kindergarten programs in the state.
“Mrs. Warriner has served our students with a steadfast dedication for 25 years and has shown a visionary leadership throughout that time,” said Tupelo Superintendent Gearl Loden.
Warriner currently serves as the school district’s director of federal programs, a position she has held for the last 17 years. For most of that time, she also was director of student assessment.
Warriner notified the district of her intentions in early March, and it already has conducted interviews for her replacement, Loden said. That hire could be named at today’s school board meeting.
Warriner, 66, intends to spend more time with her husband, Richard, and her two children and four grandchildren. She also expects to volunteer in schools.
“I have loved every minute of working with excellent students, amazing educators and supportive parents,” she said.
Her career in education began in 1968 when she taught seventh-grade science in Clarksdale. She also spent one year in Corinth and two years in Memphis before leaving the profession when her first child was born.
She returned to education in 1987 as a guidance counselor at Church Street Elementary School. She spent five years there and three as principal of Rankin Elementary School before moving to Central Office.
“She was always so supportive,” said retired teacher Linda Franks, who taught under Warriner at Rankin. “If you needed materials, Dale would go out and help you find them. She was just there for the kids.”
Rankin became the first school in the state to add Internet in 1995. Her work with federal programs included the Early Childhood Education Center, which is funded with federal dollars.