Southampton names new superintendent
Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Dr. Gwendolyn Page Shannon at Monday evening’s school board meeting was named the new superintendent of Southampton County Public Schools. Shannon was one of six finalists for the position.
“It is with great joy that I accept the position of superintendent of Southampton County Public Schools,” Shannon said. “I appreciate the opportunity to lead, serve and touch the lives of the students, parents, faculty, staff and community of our great school district. Southampton County Public Schools is a school district that focuses on excellence for all students. That symbolizes exactly what I stand for and have stood for in education for the last 20 years.”
Shannon was the superintendent of the East Jasper Consolidated School District in Heidelberg, Mississippi. She previously held positions at the school as director of curriculum and instruction, director of textbooks, director of professional development and director of technology. Shannon served as the assistant principal at Batesville Intermediate School in Batesville, Mississippi. She received her formal teacher training from her alma mater, Clarksdale High School, where she taught biology, advanced biology, microbiology and field experiences.
“Our board believes that Dr. Shannon will be a great fit for our division,” said school board chairman Dr. Deborah Goodwyn. “We believe that her leadership style, vision and experience will be an asset to the division and community.”
Shannon graudated from Mississippi State University with a doctor of philosophy degree in education administration; from Delta State University with a master of science degree in biological science; from Mississippi University for Women with a bachelor of science degree in microbiology; and from Mississippi Delta Community College with an associate of science degree in Biology.
She has received numerous academic honors, including a Vanderbilt Executive Development Institute Certificate for her participation in ongoing professional development through Vanderbilt University and a Certificate for Achievement in Financial Reporting from the Office of the Mississippi State Auditor. Under Shannon’s leadership, East Jasper was awarded this school year the Governor’s Award for its division’s Law and Public Safety Program. The district was also awarded and maintained an “A” school ranking from the Mississippi Department of Education.
“Dr. Shannon is just a personable person,” said school board member Lynn Bradley. “She is one that I think will do very well for this area. It’s going to be a change [coming from Mississippi], and she even told us that. They do things differently down there because they do not have SOLs like we do and their grading and finances are done differently then they are here. She’s got a lot to learn, but I just think she’ll do fine.”
Shannon replaces Dr. Alvera J. Parrish, who is retiring on June 30 after four years at the helm. Details of her contract have not yet been released.