Johnnie Vick is now the superintendent of the new district and he began his duties on Tuesday.
According to the Mississippi Schools Board Association, he has a successful track record as a leader in education.
In 2010 when he took over as principal of I.T. Montgomery Elementary School, it was an “F” rated school.
Under Vick’s leadership the school now has a “B” rating.
Since 2008, Vick has been an adjunct history instructor at Coahoma Community College.
He is a veteran of the U.S Army, serving in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
The University of Southern Mississippi graduate also has a master’s in history education and educational leadership from Delta State University.
"We felt that Mr. Vick was the best qualified candidate. His background and performance proves that he is more than capable of being an affective superintendent. He is the best candidate that we feel will move the North Bolivar Consolidated School District forward," said Chairman of North Bolivar Consolidated School District Glen Scott.
The Mississippi School Board Association gave specific guidance in following proper procedures for establishing guidelines.
A meeting was held with the North Bolivar Consolidated School Board in March to discuss the criteria for the superintendent, which was used for the screening and reporting process.
During the meeting, members of the community and school board members suggested that the board use a professional agency to hire the new superintendent because that would eliminate bias decision-making.
The parents agreed that if members of the board chose to hire someone from Mound Bayou, then the person would primarily focus on schools in Mound Bayou and if they hired someone from Shelby, then that person would only be concerned with Shelby.
Scott said members of the school board believed that Vick would have a huge impact on the development of the North Bolivar Consolidated School District.
"We would not have hired him if we felt that he would not do a good job. I think that we will see a major change immediately in the district," said Scott.
There were 13 applicants for the position and among the applicants were two superintendents, two assistant superintendents, three curriculum directors, four school principals and two consultants.
"We had many applicants but Vick was the best fit. We are very confident in his ability to lead our district in a positive direction," added Scott.
Vick said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve as the new superintendent and he has huge plans for the district.
"I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the selection process. I also thank the community for all of their support. As the new superintendent, I would like to implement strategies that I utilized at while serving as principal of I.T. Montgomery," he added.
"I plan to implement early reading intervention strategies to make sure that our children are on grade reading level before they reach the third grade," continued Vick.
Vick said when he was principal of I. T. Montgomery, he and his staff focused on kindergarten through second grade reading fundamentals and skills and that was one of the reasons why the school was able to move progress.
"I. T. Montgomery went from being a 'F' level to now being a 'B' level school because of these strategies. We focused on the foundation grades and these allow us to yield successful students. I want to implement the same strategies, district wide for all of the children in the North Bolivar Consolidated School District. Once a child develops a strong foundation in reading fundamentals and skills then this will stick with them throughout their schooling," said Vick.
He said he plans to work in the community to try and increase community involvement and parental support.
"Within the next two to three years, I would like for every school in my district to operate on a high performing level. There is no reason why all schools cannot operate on superior levels. I am humble for this opportunity but at the same time, I am very excited to begin work," continued Vick.
He said he has hit the ground running since Tuesday.
"Officially, my first day is July first but I began working on Tuesday because there are so many things that must be taken care of with this consolidation. We have several principal vacancies that must be taken care of, including my vacancy. We still have to secure all of our teachers for the fall and find some way to consolidated the central offices," he said.
"Right now, we have two central offices and we have to bring the central offices together as one unit. There are a lot of things that need to be done in a small amount of time and we are going to do it. I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the North Bolivar Consolidated School District," added Vick.