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McInnis Hired To Lead School District

Dr. C. Michael McInnis, new superintendent of the Water Valley School District.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The school district has a new superintendent with a proven track record of improving and sustaining student achievement.

            The appointment of Dr. C. Michael McInnis was announced at the May meeting of the school board Monday night. McInnis is currently assistant superintendent of the Grenada School District and will begin his duties here on July 1, taking over from Kim Chrestman, who is retiring.

            The new superintendent has broad experience in all aspects of school administration as well as experience in higher education, according to a news release from the school board.

            “Dr. McInnis brings a depth of knowledge in improving school performance using data to help determine student strengths and weaknesses and then targeting areas where resources will be most effective to improve school performance.” board president Taylor Trusty said.

            Dr. Mclnnis, a native of Jackson, has four years classroom experience in special education. He began his administrative career as Assistant Principal in the Collins School district and has worked as a Director of Special Services in the Amite County Schools, Superinten-dent of the Union Public School System, and most recently as Assistant Superintendent of the Grenada School District.

            He also has worked as Director of Group Homes for the Boswell Regional Mental Health Center, Registrar of Copiah Lincoln Community College, and as an Adjunct Professor at William Carey University. While Superin-tendent of The Union Public School System, the system attained a district rating of “A” or STAR district.

            Board Secretary Pierce Epes described Dr. Mclnnis as an experienced educator that will use data to help move the Water Valley Schools to the next level.

            “The Board spent many hours reviewing background information and interviewing several excellent superintendent candidates, and Dr. Mclnnis’’ broad experience, inclusive leadership style, and data driven focus, made him our top candidate.” said Trusty.

            Dr. Mclnnis earned his undergraduate degree in Special Education from Mississippi College, Masters and PhDs from The University of Southern Mississippi, with additional Post Doctoral Studies at Mississippi State University.

            At the meeting Monday, Trusty introduced McInnis by saying that this was his third superintendent’s search in five years. “We’ve been through this before,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve always had a good candidate or two. But, this time we had a pool of eight candidates presented to us.”

            Trusty noted that after the initial interviews, the board realized they had four very strong candidates. “This is the toughest decision this board ever had to come to,” he said. “We’re fortunate that we had that kind of decision to make.”

            Trusty added that he initially had some concerns that McInnis didn’t want to be in Water Valley, but after additional interviews, he became comfortable that the Water Valley School District was his first choice. “I can say without a doubt that Dr. McInnis wants to be here and be part of this school district.”

            McInnis said that he had received a call from Mike Waldrop, executive director of the Mississippi School Board Association, who told him that “the perfect superintendent’s vacancy was coming up.”

            “He told me that if he could chose any place to retire in Mississippi, it would be in Water Valley. So, my wife and I loaded up and came and fell in love with it,” he said. “We visited two or three times.”

            McInnis said that one of the things that sold him was the love and commitment of the board toward the district’s students. “Y’all care about children; y’all want excellence. Together we’re going to get it done.”

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