BRANDON – A former Tupelo Public School District administrator and leader in the Tupelo community died Saturday.

Dr. Michael Vinson worked for TPSD from 1994 until his retirement in 2002 as deputy superintendent and later leader of the district when named superintendent in 1995.

During his 35-year career in public education, he served as a coach, teacher and principal at districts including Tupelo and Rankin County Public Schools.

Even in retirement, he continued to work tirelessly for Mississippi school children, taking on special projects for the State Department of Education in Scott County and Okolona.

Vinson served on the Hinds Community College Board of Trustees for over 20 years and as executive director of the Mississippi Association of School Administrators.

He was named Mississippi Superintendent of the Year in 1999 and one of Hinds Community College’s Top 100 Alumni in 2017.

During Vinson’s tenure with Tupelo, the district moved from a Level 3 accreditation to a Level 5 – the highest awarded by the Mississippi Department of Education. Four of the district’s schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools by the United States Department of Education for their overall excellence.

One year after Vinson assumed his job as superintendent with TPSD, he gave a list of goals he wanted to accomplish, including a new elementary school, a ninth-grade complex and a new access road at Tupelo High School, as well as moving the vocational center to the main THS campus. All of those goals were met, funded through a $29.5 million bond issue passed by voters in 1999.

Services will be held at Brandon First United Methodist Church Monday at 2 p.m. with visitation an hour before.

— Derrick Russell / Daily Journal