Sunday, August 30, 2015
Dr. Earl Watkins (Conservator)
Motto: "Claiborne County Public Schools...Totally invested in molding creative minds to Achieve Proficiency."
Office of the Conservator
Dr. Earl Watkins
Dr. Earl Watkins, a native of Louise in the Mississippi Delta, is honored to serve the children of the Claiborne County School District as its Conservator for 2015-2016 school year. Dr. Watkins' career has included roles as adjunct professor of educational leadership at Jackson State University, math curriculum coordinator, principal of a middle and high school, and formerly Superintendent of Jackson Public Schools. Under Dr. Watkins’ leadership as the superintendent in Jackson, JPS passed a $150 million bond referendum with an approval exceeding 80% of the voters. In addition to leading the district to full accreditation by the Mississippi Department of Education, the district was awarded the highest level of accreditation that can be given to a school district by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools, and the district came out of school improvement as noted by No Child Left Behind with 96% of all schools meeting adequate yearly progress. During the 2004 regular legislative session, the Mississippi Senate recognized Dr. Watkins with the Mississippi Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 530 for his courageous and bold move to reorganize and improve one of Jackson’s high schools. In 2006, Dr. Watkins was named Mississippi’s Superintendent of the Year by the Mississippi Association of School Administrators. During the 2007 Winter Conference of PREPS, he received the Dan Merritt Courage Award.
Dr. Watkins has served as an education consultant for the Foundation of the Mid South, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, One Voice, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. As a school leadership consultant, he has worked with school districts, in addition to regional and state organizations such as the Delta Area Association for Improvement of Schools at Delta State University, the Center for Education Innovation, and the Mississippi Department of Education. He most recently served as Conservator for the Indianola School District, successfully paying off the district’s debt to the state, consolidating the district with Sunflower County, and leaving the district with a fund balance over $7 million.
Dr. Watkins serves on the Ready by 21 National Leadership Council at the Forum for Youth Investment. He is the immediate president of the Mississippi Alliance of Black School Educators, a chartered state affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and he has also served the Mississippi State Conference NAACP as its state education chairman for 4 years.