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Mississippi school district replaces retiring superintendent

June 24, 2021 GMT

BAY SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi school district has named a new leader.

The West Jasper School Board approved Kenitra Ezi as superintendent of the West Jasper School District in a vote on Tuesday. She will replace Superintendent Warren Woodrow, who announced his retirement in March after 13 years of service.

The West Jasper School District is a public district based in Bay Springs, Mississippi, that also serves the towns of Louin and Montrose.

Ezi will officially begin her new job on July 1, WDAM-TV reported.

Ezi, of Vancleave, has been working in education for 18 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education as well as a master’s degree and doctoral degree in educational leadership and a specialist degree in educational administration. She’s also worked as an adjunct professor for the graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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She said her hometown is similar to the West Jasper community, which is one reason she’s excited to get to know everyone.

“Establishing those positive relationships with the parents, community leaders, community members, teachers, students and even other district employees, just really becoming a part of the great things that Mr. Woodrow has worked so hard to put into place,” Ezi said.

In the coming weeks, community leaders and members can look forward to meeting her because she’s putting aside time in her schedule to make it happen.

“Before the school year begins, I’d like for people to kind of be on the lookout for opportunities to come and meet with me, and I don’t intend to host them all here,” Ezi said. “I really want to go to people, so I’m very open to going to different facilities so people can casually come and have chance to meet with me.”

Ezi said her immediate goal is to listen and learn before she puts any changes in place.

“I know change is scary and often times when a new superintendent is named, there’s this fear of, ‘Oh gosh, we’ve been working so hard, what will this person change?’ That is not my intent,” Ezi said. “My intent is to learn more about the great things that are already in place and to maybe brainstorm how we can accentuate those positive things moving forward.”