Hattiesburg High School will have a new principal for the upcoming school year, the fourth person to serve in the position since 2015.
Victor Hubbard has accepted the HHS leadership post after serving 11 years in the same role at Meridian High School. The Coldwater native has spent 17 years working in education, and is noted for his ability to turn around schools seeking to improve academically or in other areas. He was introduced at the Hattiesburg Public School District Board of Trustees meeting March 13.
Hubbard replaces Eric Boney, who recently announced his retirement.
HHS has several good things already going for it, Hubbard said, and he wants to help take it to the next level. “I saw this opportunity as a new challenge, and I’m looking forward to working with my new team here,” he said.
One of Hubbard’s immediate goals is to increase the school’s graduation rate, while also building on existing collaborations with area institutions of higher education and other partners to increase the number of academic and career pathways available to HHS students after they secure their diploma.
“We want for them not just to graduate, but to graduate to opportunity,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said the recent turnover rate in the school’s leadership post was not a concern for him going in.
“Every school has its challenges,” he said, and that he was focused instead on getting to work on doing what needs to be done to help HHS’s students.
In other board matters:
• HPSD Superintendent Robert Williams said the district has no plans to close any of its schools because of the coronavirus for now and is advising teachers and student to use common sense in engaging in good hygiene, avoiding close contact with others and touching one’s face, among other best practices. He said the district will remain in close communication with state and local public health officials in deciding district policy going forward regarding the situation, and urged HPSD stakeholders to visit the district’s website at Hattiesburg Public School District for updates.
• The district is also, for now, not hosting events with significant numbers of people in attendance to curb the risk of potential exposure to the virus. The upcoming Beta Club Convention and debate tournament, originally set to be hosted by district schools, has been canceled for this reason.
• Students in the district are on spring break March 16-20.
• The HPSD was recently awarded a Community Heritage Preservation Grant from the Mississippi Department of History and Archives for structural and aesthetic improvements for Woodley Elementary School that will include structural stabilization and exterior painting. The grant totals just over $100,000, which is matched with $26,000-plus from the district.
• The HPSD Board of Trustees elected officers at the meeting to preside for the next school year, with Delores McNair and Yolanda Morris chosen to continue as president and secretary, respectively.