Ex-superintendent, conservator to oversee troubled school district

booksFOREST — Mark Boyles, a retired superintendent from Smith County and who has served in conservatorship roles for the state when needed, will assume oversight of Scott County schools on July 1.

Boyles will replace Michael Vinson, who was appointed by the State Board of Education to oversee the district on Feb. 26. Vinson has announced he will retire June 30.

Vinson is a former superintendent in the Tupelo school district and served four terms as Rankin County’s superintendent of education.

Boyles will work with the district staff and the Mississippi Department of Education to correct the problems cited where the district was found in violation of standards of accreditation.

The 4,200-student district was an unusual candidate for a takeover because of its B-rating. Most takeover districts are in deep academic or financial distress. But the state Board of Education recommended the takeover after finding the superintendent was violating state rules.

In its Feb. 6 decision, the board cited a 27-page audit that levied 27 of 31 violations of standards, state and federal laws.

Former Superintendent Bingham Moncrief and the former board members were scheduled to leave office on Feb. 28. Those conditions would have allowed them to seek election again in the future.

Two reports issued by the Mississippi Department of Education found Moncrief ruled through intimidation, flouting state rules, and local board members took the unusual step of calling for state intervention

However, because the state takeover pre-empted the resignations and they were removed from office, the former board and Moncrief cannot seek or hold office in the school district again.

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