TUPELO - Carver Elementary Principal Terry Harbin will be leaving the Tupelo Public School District at the end of June to teach in the educational leadership specialist program at Delta State University.
The school district has begun searching for Harbin's replacement.
"I just felt a need to grow and expand and be a life-long learner myself," Harbin said. "It is about expanding myself and helping students a different way."
Harbin has been an educator for 12 years, including six years as a principal. He was Mississippi's Administrator of the Year in 2008, after also winning that honor for Tupelo Schools and for the 1st Congressional District.
"He is a truly outstanding principal and fellow educator," said TPSD Interim Superintendent David Meadows. "Dr. Harbin's success is attributable to many factors. He is very personable, loved by his students and respected by co-workers and parents.
"As a principal, he is known for his use of data-driven instruction as well as his vast array of strategies and techniques for helping students and teachers succeed."
Harbin just completed his first year at Carver, a kindergarten and first-grade school, after five years as the principal at Lawndale Elementary. Last year, he led Lawndale from being ranked Academic Watch to High Performing, the second-highest of seven rankings used by the state.
Harbin called that achievement the highlight of his career in Tupelo. He also had another challenge this year, leading Carver after the school's merger with Church Street Elementary brought staff and students from the two schools together.
"I bleed blue and gold," he said, noting that he, his mom and his children graduated from Tupelo High School. "I'm fully supportive of the Tupelo Public School District, and I plan on mentoring and helping the district however I can."