The Clarksdale Municipal School District unanimously selected a 26-year veteran in education Dr. Earl Joe Nelson to be the next superintendent of the school district Wednesday afternoon.
Nelson succeeds Dennis Dupree, who retired after spending 12 years in the position.
Nelson spent the majority of his career in the Pass Christian School District, which received an “A” grade from the Mississippi Department of Education. During his years as an educator, he progressed from a teacher to assistant principal to principal within the state of Mississippi and was named 2018 Administrator of the Year within the Pass Christian School District. He received his master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and his bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University. He is set to take the reins at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.
Nelson said he has been working to be a superintendent his entire career.
“I first want to thank God for the opportunity to lead a school district,” he said. “I am very excited to be joining the community of Clarksdale. I know I have work to do, and my goal is to make a positive impact on the district and for all of the students within the district.”
Nelson received additional training through the Mississippi School Boards Association Prospective Superintendent Leadership Academy. The leadership academy a professional development program designed to prepare potential candidates for the position of superintendent in Mississippi public schools.
The CMSD board worked in conjunction with the MSBA throughout the search to find a new superintendent.
CMSD board president H. Clay Stillions said there were a number of highly qualified applicants for the position.
“Our board was unanimous in our decision that Dr. Nelson is the right choice to lead and advance our district for the betterment of our students, faculty and staff, as well as our community,” Stillions said. “This selection involved many hours of research and background searches to help determine which candidates were the best possible fit for our district. We are excited to welcome Dr. Nelson to our community and look forward to working within to improve the quality of education in our district.”