Brian Harvey, Superintendent, Oxford School District, Oxford, Mississippi and Amy Carter, Superintendent, Meridian Public Schools, Meridian, Mississippi
Mississippi: Leaders Matter
Nominated By: Lisa B. Karmacharya, Executive Director, Mississippi Association of School Administrators
Brian Harvey, Superintendent, Oxford School District, Oxford, Mississippi
Brian Harvey has done a lot of great work, but two programs come to mind: Breakfast in the Classroom and the Grade Level Reading Campaign.
Before Breakfast in the Classroom, the district’s free and reduced students were, by and large, the participants of this program. From August 2015 – March 2016, OMS averaged 164 breakfast a day out of 630 students. When the district introduced Breakfast in the Classroom that number jumped to 498 a day.
By taking the food to the classroom, this small group environment supports a sense of ‘family’ for the students. The program has also helped create a calming effect for students who would typically rush through breakfast to make it to class on time. Teachers appreciate the culture building as well as increase in instructional time.
Knowing that the students in Lafayette County are ALL our students and that district lines are just lines determining where students attend school, not barriers for collaborating to ensure that all students in Lafayette County are proficient readers, Harvey embraced the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and worked to involve the Lafayette County School District as a partner.
As a result of his tireless efforts, both school districts participate in the Lafayette County/Oxford/University (LOU) Reads Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (LOU Reads CGLR). LOU Reads is comprised of volunteers who have a passion for our community. Harvey recognized that while these volunteers are hard-working individuals, they do have full-time jobs and cannot always commit to a level of work needed to meet ambitious goals for sustainability. He partnered with the City of Oxford, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors, and the Lafayette County School District to ensure the sustainability of LOU Reads CGLR by hiring a director of early childhood and reading development to lead LOU Reads.
All four entities signed an agreement to pool funds to hire a director of early childhood and reading development for the entire county, which started on July 1, 2017. Harvey’s commitment to equity among all students is evident in his steadfast efforts to close the achievement, as well as, opportunity gaps for all students in the LOU area to be successful.
Harvey is one of the most impressive servant leaders in Mississippi. He is dedicated to children and ensuring equity for all. He is honest, hardworking, willing to go above and beyond and he is a lifelong learner. He serves on state advisory boards and has developed a pretty amazing team in his district. Although he is in one of the more affluent areas with The University of Mississippi in his back yard, the district has its own set of challenges and he is willing to do the hard work, make the tough decisions to step out and do what’s right. He is a quiet leader, a thinker and knows how to make things happen.
Exemplars of Leadership:
- Commitment to disadvantaged children.
- Demonstrated success in improving instructional outcomes.
- Partnering with other entities to the benefit of all students.
Amy Carter, Superintendent, Meridian Public Schools, Meridian, Mississippi
Amy Carter is a self-starter, who is a positive energetic leader. She serves on the state assessment task force and is completing the NISL Superintendent Academy. She graduated from the AASA/Mississippi Aspiring/Early Career Academy last year.
Carter is working very hard with external stakeholders to build a support system from the outside in and working diligently on the teacher shortage. She is committed to equity and service leadership
Exemplars of Leadership:
- Demonstrated success in building productive relationships with community stakeholders.
- Commitment to addressing staffing shortfalls and promoting district leadership.
To learn more about the superintendents profiled in AASA’s Leaders Matter campaign, visit http://aasacentral.org/leadersmatter/. To join the conversation via Twitter, please access #LeadersMatter.