The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Mississippi Teacher Center today announced that Dr. Jessica Broome, principal of Pearl Junior High School in the Pearl Public School District, has been selected as the 2017 Mississippi Administrator of the Year (MAOY), and Luke Daniels, a 6th grade mathematics teacher at Petal Upper Elementary School in the Petal School District, has been selected as the 2017 Mississippi Teacher of the Year (MTOY).
Dr. Jessica Broome
“I congratulate both recipients for the well-deserved honors. They are examples of the outstanding educators in Mississippi who are committed professionals and who focus on preparing each child to be successful in school and in life,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.
Each school district selects a District Teacher of the Year and District Administrator of the Year. Following an intensive selection process, four congressional district winners are chosen from district award recipients. Finally, one teacher earns the MTOY recognition and one administrator earns the MAOY recognition following an interview with finalists.
The Mississippi Administrator of the Year program honors an administrator who demonstrates superior ability to inspire teachers, to employ exemplary leadership practices and to participate as an active member of the community. The recipient receives a $5,000 stipend and shares expertise through various presentations and activities for the improvement of education in the state.
Broome, principal of Pearl Junior High School since 2011, has served students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels as a teacher, administrator and state-level leader in both Mississippi and Georgia. She believes all children need and deserve a safe, nurturing learning environment.
Broome has been instrumental in helping the graduation rate in the district improve to a historic high of 87.1 percent in 2016. She is proud of the academic gains during her tenure, recently increasing the number of students meeting or exceeding learning goals from 47.1 percent in 2015 to 50 percent in 2016.
“Simple school management from the principal is no longer adequate. Instructional leadership that is transformational, data-driven, and that results in improved instruction from teachers is critical to improving student achievement, and ultimately, to ensuring sustained student school success,” Broome said.
The Mississippi Teacher of the Year program recognizes exemplary teachers in the state. The award recipient also receives a $5,000 stipend and will share expertise through various presentations and activities. Daniels will represent Mississippi in the National Teacher of the Year competition. In addition, he will travel to Washington, D.C., to meet the President and First Lady and will participate in a Rose Garden recognition ceremony at the White House.
Daniels aims to go beyond teaching numbers, procedures and facts to students. He wants his students to explore the wonders of math in real-world scenarios and to gain a basic understanding of math principles to boost their confidence. Daniels has used his influence to grow the students in his class and in his colleagues’ classes.
“I love giving students, who have never experienced it, a taste of success. Success is addictive, so it is of paramount importance that we help every student, even if only in a small way, experience it. Once the snowball starts rolling, it’s impossible to stop,” Daniels said.