By RUSSELL TURNER
The Perry County School District has named its new leader and it’s a name in which many in the area will be quite familiar.
The county board of education made it official on Monday that Dr. Titus M. Hines will replace Dr. Scott Dearman as PCSD Supt. of Education, beginning July 1, 2022. The school board offered the position to Dr. Hines a few days after a community forum in late October where he and current Stone County Middle School Principal Lance D. Bolen fielded questions from district administrators and residents in attendance. Dr. Hines and Bolen were named as the finalists for the position after board members considered multiple candidates and each was invited to the forum.
Dr. Hines and the board agreed to terms that were officially approved during the board’s regular November meeting on Monday. His contract with the district outlines a base salary of $115,000 with potential bonuses of up to $10,000 based on the district’s overall accountability grade, which is set by the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of District and School Performance. Accountability grades are based on student achievement, individual student growth, graduation rate and participation rate. The contract is a 4-year agreement effective from July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2026.
“Welcome back Dr. Titus Hines!” School Board President Fredrick Jackson said in a statement to The Dispatch. “We the board appreciate the support of the community in making this decision and we look forward to working with Dr. Hines.”
Dr. Hines is currently the Superintendent of Education for the Lawrence County School District based in Monticello. His tenure in the field of education spans over 20 years in Mississippi. He has served in various roles including assistant teacher, teacher, coach, assistant band director, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent.
Dr. Hines is no stranger to Perry County. He helped lead Perry Central High School for nearly a decade, serving first as assistant principal during the 2010-2011 school year. He was principal at the school from July 2011 until Dec. 2019 when he left for Monticello.
Dr. Hines said he is elated about returning to the district and continuing the work he started while serving as Principal of Perry Central High School. He said his focus will be on raising the expectations of staff and students, increasing individual accountability of all school stakeholders, and changing the perception about the quality of education provided to students in Perry County.
Dr. Hines holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Delta State University, a Master of Education and an Education Specialist degree from Mississippi College, and a Doctor of Education degree from William Carey University. School board officials say that once in the district, Dr. Hines’ primary areas of focus will be “building a collaborative and equitable relationship with the school board, serving as a good steward of the district’s finances and ensuring fiscally responsible ethics in terms of spending, engaging district and community partners as accountability partners, and increasing the academic success of all schools within the district for the purpose of maintaining excellence in its entirety”.
Dr. Dearman will retire from the post at the end of June after serving in the post for 18 years. He was elected to the position in 2004 after serving two years as principal at PCHS. Early in his career (from 1981 to 1993) Dearman served in the Perry County School District as a teacher, coach and assistant principal. In all, 33 of his 41 years in education have been in Perry County so he clearly has an interest in seeing the school district and its students and teachers excel.
He said the timing of the hiring will help make sure Dr. Hines will be able to hit the ground running in July.
“We will be establishing a plan to make this a smooth transition,” Dr. Dearman said. “Dr. Hines’ familiarity with our school district will make it easier.”