Two superintendents nominated for prestigious award

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Carl Merritt and Alan Lumpkin, superintendents for the Poplarville and Pearl River County school districts respectively, have been nominated for the Mississippi Association of School Administrators 2018 Superintendent of the Year Award.

Merritt has been the superintendent since 2007 and has earned multiple awards in that time, such as the National Blue Ribbon High School in 2008, the Lantern Award, as well as the PREPS award.

The Poplarville School District has also seen growth in multiple areas throughout Merritt’s 10-years, according to a press release from the District.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Graduation rates have increased from 77 percent to 90 percent, ACT scores have risen over 10 percent and the proficiency levels in mathematics and English have increased over seven percent in just the last school year, the release states.

“These advancements can be attributed to new initiatives such as the District Instructional Teams, Graduation Coaches, Strategic Planning, and Professional Learning Communities,” Merritt said in a press release. “But, the biggest asset we have is great people: students, teachers, administrators, staff, and community leaders. Everyone has worked tremendously hard to achieve the impressive results we see today.”

Merritt has also won individual awards, such as being inducted twice into the William Carey University Hall of Fame. The first was the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2015 and the second was the Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

Meanwhile, Lumpkin has been serving as superintendent of the Pearl River County School District since 2011.

Lumpkin holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Jones International University and has worked in the education field for 20 years, either has a teacher, coach or administrator.

“It’s just an honor to be included in that list,” Lumpkin said. “This is a district-wide award, it reflects the work of the school system in Pearl River County, as it is a team effort.”

Lumpkin is also serving on the Pearl River Community College Board and is a member of the Pearl River County United Coalition for a drug-free county, he said.

The 2018 State Superintendent of Year will be announced Oct. 31, at MASA’s annual fall meeting and leadership conference.