Poplarville School District sees personnel changes for the upcoming school year

Published 6:27 pm Thursday, August 3, 2006

When school convenes August 9, students will see a number of personnel changes in the Poplarville School District.

High school band director Robert D. Smith and Career Development Center director Donnis Stringfellow have retired with a combined service total of 64 years working in the Poplarville school district.

Superintendent Gylde Fitzpatrick praised the service of the retiring staff but said she is excited about the potential for the future with the incoming personnel.

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“We are really looking forward to working with the new personnel to implement new ideas and learning experiences for students,” she said. “And we will do everything in our power to get behind these people to ensure their success.”

Ilene Davis has assumed responsibilities as principal at the high school with 20 years experience in the Poplarville district. Davis replaces Carl Merritt who was named assistant superintendent. Merritt will succeed Fitzpatrick as superintendent in July 2007 when she retires.

Prior to being named high school principal, Davis was assistant principal at the Middle School for the past two years. She has served as assistant principal at the Lower Elementary and taught at the high school for 16 years.

Heidi Hoppen has been named assistant principal at the Middle School to replace Davis. She was a math teacher at the Middle School prior to her appointment.

Diane Herndon returns to Poplarville as principal of the Lower Elementary after having spent the past five years in administration in the Picayune school district. Herndon has been in education the past 15 years, eight of which were in the Poplarville district.

At Picayune Memorial High School, she was assistant principal for three years and co-principal the past two years. Herndon replaces Dr. Carolyn Tedford who has taken a medical leave of absence.

Dr. Marlene Cole has been named director of the Career Development Center to replace Stringellow. She formerly served as business computer technology instructor and has 13 years of experience in the Poplarville district. Kimberly Ellis has replaced Cole as business computer technology instructor.

Dr. Leland Kornegay comes to the PHS band program from Crossgates Baptist School of Fine Arts in Jackson. He has been an adjunct professor in the Mississippi College and Delta State University music programs and a visiting professor of jazz ensembles at Northwestern State University in Oklahoma.