Gazebo Gazette

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Office of Teaching and Leading announced Thursday in a virtual ceremony that Dr. Mandy Lacy, principal of DeLisle Elementary in the Pass Christian School District, has been selected as the 2021 Mississippi Administrator of the Year (MAOY).

Lacy, who has spent her 19-year career at DeLisle Elementary, believes that creating an environment conducive for learning is crucial as students must feel valued and safe to learn.

“The amount of success that a student can achieve is limitless when provided with high-quality, standards-based instruction from an effective educator who truly desires to inspire and motivate children,” she said.

The annual Mississippi Administrator of the Year program honors an administrator who demonstrates superior ability to inspire teachers, to employ exemplary leadership practices and to participate as an active member of the community. The recipient receives a $5,000 stipend and shares expertise through various presentations and activities for the improvement of education in the state.

Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, said the winners are to be commended for their dedication to the profession, and they serve as ambassadors for Mississippi’s teachers and administrators.

“Educators’ service to students is worthy of celebration every year, but especially for this school year. I admire their abilities to navigate the changes of the 2020-21 school year and their commitment to do the best they could for students in a challenging time both professionally and personally,” she said.

Weeks before today’s announcement, each school district selected a District Teacher of the Year and District Administrator of the Year.

Following an intensive selection process, four congressional district winners were chosen from district award recipients. Finally, one teacher earned the MTOY recognition and one administrator earned the MAOY recognition following an interview with finalists.