Harrison County School District Superintendent Roy Gill and Board of Trustees Member Dr. Barbara Thomas review options for distance learning on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

After spending just under 40 years in the educational system, Harrison County Superintendent Roy Gill has decided to retire at the end of the school semester effective June 30.  Gill has accomplished quite a number of improvements from the academic level, with the Harrison County School District being ranked among the top 25 school districts in the state of Mississippi.

“As the ranking improves, the students perform better and that’s the ultimate goal to be able to compete worldwide,” said Gill who was the fifth Harrison County School District Superintendent elected in 2015.  “If our students have what it takes to compete, the performance classification will follow.”

Following his graduation from Harrison Central in 1982, Gill returned to Harrison Central as math teacher in 1986 and stayed for eleven years.  Additionally, Gill was an assistant girls basketball coach winning two state championships.

Jumping into the administrative role, Gill began as an assistant principal at Harrison Central ninth grade followed a ten year duty as assistant principal/principal at North Woolmarket Elementary.

Coming into the central off of the Harrison County school district, Gill was hired as the Director of Accountability where he worked with all schools.  Moving back to the school system, Gill was put as the principal of D’Iberville High School before returning back to the central office as the Director of Curriculum and Accountability until 2015.

During his time as superintendent, Gill was instrumental in getting the Harrison County school bond (over $50 million) passed to create two new schools (West Harrison Middle/Creekbend) for the fourth largest school district in Mississippi.

Despite the pandemic of COVID019 (coronavirus), the construction of both schools only lost a year in opening and everything has been put forward, according to Gill.

“I’ve been blessed by the Harrison County School District and I’m very lucky to be a part of it,” expressed Gill. “My entire family has devoted their life to education and we have been very blessed while Harrison County Schools have been very gracious to my family.”

Since the creation of the Harrison County School District in 1957, Gill is the only the fifth superintendent.  The Mississippi State Legislature ended the election of superintendents and now the school board have the power to appoint.