Pride of the Pine Belt: Jennifer Ward

© Jennifer Ward
© Jennifer Ward

SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) -  Sumrall High School educates about 500 ninth through the twelfth graders and Jennifer Ward is their leader.

As the high school's Principal, she is particularly proud of their consistent Star rating over the last three years. That rating is the highest the state recognizes based on performance.

Ward explained, "And with the staff that we have on the campus it's been a great, great journey for us. They have all jumped in and the kids have now come to expect excellence. It's a pride thing for them. So we've really cultivated a culture of excellence and it's been an amazing journey for all of us."

She said the high school really focuses on their students and the importance of graduating. As for what makes Sumrall High unique, Ward cites it's strong community support, well regarded extra curricular activities and most of all their academic programs.

"And the professional growth that teachers have made over the last four years has been astronomical. And that is probably one of the things that I am most proud of is their willingness to get on board and see the vision," said Ward.

Ten years ago, Ward was a classroom teacher who decided to earn her Master's degree at Southern Miss to advance her career.

According to Ward, "Ten years ago if you would have asked me if I would ever be a Principal the answer would be no, I would have been in the classroom. But it has truly been a blessing and it's been wonderful it really has."

Currently, the high school is recognizing student achievements on a daily basis by awarding them for working hard and having a positive impact on their community.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.