LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The new Laurel School District Superintendent said she's ready to hit the ground running.
"I absolutely love knowing I can be a change agent in someone's life," Dr. Toy Watts said.
With more than 20 years of experience, Watts was selected by the Board of Trustees as Laurel's new superintendent. She is the first woman selected to lead the district in this position since 1891.
"In my 21 years, I have done a little bit of everything in education," Watts said. "I have taught in the elementary level, middle school level, I have worked at the high school. I have been a coach, a teacher, a counselor, a principal and I have worked in alternative settings."
Before her move to Laurel, she served as the assistant superintendent at the Moss Point School District. Originally from Bay St. Louis, Watts has worked in several districts, including Pass Christian, Vicksburg-Warren and Atlanta Public Schools.
"Based on data, it seems that people have lost faith in the public education, and I want to restore that," Watts said.
Watts earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Dillard University in Louisiana. She then went on to complete her master's degree and doctorate locally at the University of Southern Mississippi.
"Short term really right now, it's spring and we are in the dead heat of cranking it up before testing," she said. "So, really right now it is getting to know my staff and just assessing. Trying to find out what it is we need to go farther."
Long term, she strives for the ultimate success.
"It's my goal being here to make Laurel School District the school district of choice for every citizen in the City of Laurel," Watts said.
Watts began her three-and-a-half-year contract term January 1, 2018, with a yearly salary of $135,000.00. Click here to read more about Watts and the Laurel School District.