Tess Smith discusses decision to resign as Lamar County superintendent

Tess Smith discusses decision to resign as Lamar County superintendent

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Tess Smith has resigned as superintendent of the Lamar County School District. She tells WDAM she felt it was the right time for her to leave.

“I have always prayed to know when the time to go would be, to be able to leave at that time,” Smith said. “Because sometimes people can stay, they become bitter and I never wanted that, I love this district too much for that.”

The district’s board of education accepted her resignation Wednesday. Smith has worked for the Lamar County School District for more than 25 years.

She says it was a hard decision, but believes her replacement, Steven Hampton, will be a great fit for the district.

“I’m thankful that I now have the time,” Smith said. “The board and I are confident in Dr. Hampton. He’s a fine man.”

Smith says she’s excited for her next step in life.

“Some people have already asked about, if I have another job or whatever, and no, l don’t,” Smith said. “But you know, I’m only 51, so surely there’s something out there for me in the future.”

Smith will retire from the Lamar County School District on Nov. 1 and will serve as transition advisor until then.

Hampton previously served as the school district’s director of accountability and research.

His contract as superintendent will run until June 30, 2023. He will make $160,000 annually.

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