The winner will succeed Matt Smith, who resigned earlier this year. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, a runoff will be held Nov. 23 between the top two finishers.
The four candidates all offer experience in the classroom, but also must deal with management challenges, including state funding cuts over the past two fiscal years that are expected to continue for 2011-2012 with even sharper reductions.
The Prentiss County School District also has been struggling with the issue of consolidation for more than two years, and the debate is expected to continue through this school year. None of the candidates favors consolidation, at least as currently proposed, as a solution to the district's problems.
Following is informtion on the candidates, based on information provided to the Banner Independent.
- Billy D. Stroupe, 63, has served as interim superintendent of Prentiss County Schools since March, with years of classroom, administrative and superintendent experience in several area school districts.
Stroupe says he would examine the district's budget closely, assess the greatest needs for improvement and allocate budget funds where there are greatest needs and weaknesses.
- Kenneth Chism, 65, served one term as Prentiss County Schools superintendent from 2004 to 2007, with years of classroom and administrative experience.
Chism says he would set spending priorities for the district in collaboration with other administrators and school leaders, always keeping in mind the betterment of education for students and teachers in line with state mandates.
- Rivers Stroup, 39, has been principal at Thrasher High School for two years. He also has been a teacher, coach, athletic director, middle school principal and assistant superintendent.
Stroup believes that after schools in the district meet their basic accreditation course offerings, the focus should turn to K-3 students to provide the best possible educational outcome and advance to other grades from there. Stroup believes that instead of consolidation, the focus should be on per-student spending, making sure that funds are distributed evenly among all students.
- Randle Downs, 64, is a retired educator with experience in the classroom, as a coach and as a school administrator.
Downs believes curriculum and quality instruction must be a top priority in allocating budget expenditures, especially with the focus on test results, and those two areas, therefore, should be the last to go suffer any budget cuts.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- While Prentiss County is electing a
superintendent, other counties will be
choosing new school board members:
Alcorn County, District 1: John Lewis,
Benton County, District 1: Annie Ruth
Mason (i), Erma “Sarah” Poplar
Calhoun County, District 1: Reginald
Baskin, Antionette Holland Goins, Tony
Calhoun County, District 2: Danny
Harrelson (i), Velvet Stovall Tillman
Itawamba County, District 1: Eddie
Hood (i), Tammy Palmer, Trelvy Petty
Itawamba County, District 2: Jackie
L. Nichols (i), Wes Pitts
Lee County, District 2: James P. “Jim”
Bain. Richard D. Hill, Lisha Maxwell,
Lisa Wood Roberts (i)
Marshall County, District 1: Terry
Rodgers (i), Mark Turner
Marshall County, District 2: Harvey
L. Garrison (i), Raymond Spight
Pontotoc County, District 1: Danny
Robbins, Rickly L. “Rick” Spencer (i)
Prentiss County, District 1: Jason
McCoy, Jimmy Wayne Russell, Perry
Prentiss County, District 2: Rickie
Davis (i), Shelia Johnson, Claude Kermit
Keenum, Richard Tollison
Tippah County, S. Tippah, District 1:
Martin “Marty” Bruce Miskelly, Ron
Tishomingo County, District 2:
Jeff Allred, Anthony L. Whirley (i)
Union County, District 2: Mickey
Basil, Gary G. Gray (i)