Mississippi seeking new leader of math and science school

State

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — The top administrator at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science said he will leave that job at the end of December, prompting a search for a new school leader.

Germain McConnell has been executive director of the residential high school in Columbus for eight years. On Jan. 1, he will become chief of staff for the Oxford School District.

During a Columbus Rotary Club meeting Tuesday, McConnell said God led him to Columbus to serve at MSMS, but the time has come for him to return to Oxford, the Commercial Dispatch reported.

MSMS is for high-achieving juniors and seniors. It will have 237 students on campus this fall. The Oxford School District has more than 4,500 students.

McConnell served 11 years as professor and assistant dean for College of Education at the University of Mississippi before going to MSMS in 2011 as director of academic affairs. He was promoted to executive director in 2013.

McConnell said it’s important to give the state Department of Education and the state Board of Education time to conduct a search.

The department plans to fill the position before the end of the fall semester, said Nathan Oakley, the department’s chief academic officer. He said there are no plans to hire a search firm.

“We intend to cast a net nationwide to find a passionate, collaborative leader to continue the work of Dr. McConnell and his predecessors,” Oakley said.

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