by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher –

After running through a quick agenda, the Harrison County School Board of Trustees decided to go into executive session involving personnel matters during their Monday, July 11, 2022 at the Henry Arledge Administration Building in Gulfport.  Following about twenty minutes in the closed session, School Board President David Ladner announced the increase of salary for Harrison County School District Superintendent Mitch King from $190,000 per year to $200,000 per year.

“We gave every person in the school district an increase in their salaries the last few years,” said Ladner, who represents District 3 or the western portion of Harrison County.  “Mr. King did not receive any pay raise during this time and we felt he should now.”

King has been with the Harrison County School District for over 50 years as a teacher, assistant principal, assistant superintendent to being chosen as the superintendent in April 2021.  Despite the search to fill the superintendent spot from previous school leader Roy Gill, the board chose the assistant who had held this position for 35 years. 

Superintendent King is the sixth man to hold the position since the state legislature reorganization that created Harrison County School District in 1957.  For nearly 60 years, Mississippi school boards superintendents were elected by the people.  

In 2016, the state enacted a law passed by the legislature for local school boards to be appointed by each board of trustees.

Among other actions at the meeting, the school board unanimously passed Option 2 of the Harrison County School Board Redistricting Map.  The map was unanimously approved by the board with slight movement for District 2 and 3 because of an increase in the population from the 2020 U.S. Census.  

Finally, the school board of trustees unanimously approved a forest resource development program cost share agreement and authorization for services with Mississippi Forestry Commission for maintaining 16th section lands and adopted a sub-lease agreement between the Savarese family and Mississippi Army National Guard for 16th Section land on the northside of Highway 49, north of Interstate 10.

School Board Member; Dr. Barbara Thomas, representing District 4, was absent from the meeting while fellow board member; Eric Simmons, was available on the telephone.