Mississippi School Boards Association
View their website at www.msbaonline.org
Miranda Beard is the current president of the Mississippi School Boards Association and a Director of the Southern Region of the National School Boards Association. Ms. Beard was elected to serve on NSBA's Board of Directors by its 150-member Delegate Assembly during the 2011 NSBA Annual Conference in San Francisco, California.
Miranda Beard, president of the Laurel School District Board of Trustees, is assistant news director at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in broadcast journalism, she also completed Leadership Jones County and Leadership Mississippi.
Former Governor Kirk Fordice appointed her as a commissioner to the Mississippi Employment Security Commission, a position she held for eight years. Beard is a member of the advisory board for the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse in Jones County and the advisory board for the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Gulf Pines Girls Scouts and is vice president of the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
Dr. Michael W. Waldrop
Michael W. Waldrop is a passionate education leader who has sprinted around the education block numerous times as a former superintendent, teacher, coach and adjunct university professor. Superintendent of the Senatobia School District in North Mississippi from 1987 through 2000, Waldrop became MSBA's executive director August 1, 2004 following the retirement of longtime Executive Director John L. Hartman. Prior to becoming MSBAs executive director, Dr. Waldrop served as deputy executive director of the association a position he assumed on July 1, 2000.
During his first four years with MSBA, Waldrop spent a great deal of time getting to know the viewpoints and needs of school board members, providing board member continuing education training, lobbying the Mississippi Legislature on board members' behalf, collaborating with other education organizations, building community connections and consulting directly with individual school districts on various school board matters. He is one of the primary authors of MSBA's school board member continuing education training modules and has presented at state, regional and national conferences.
After the MSBA Board of Directors appointed Waldrop as the association's executive director, he immediately set his sights on adding to, and enhancing, MSBA services. New services implemented under his leadership include a superintendent search service, online policy service, grassroots advocacy assistance, individualized policy manual updates for districts wanting policies tailored to their specific situations, enhanced insurance options and improved loss control services. He also was successful in convincing the Mississippi Legislature to expand MSBAs role in required school board training to include conducting state-mandated training for new school board members, effective July 1, 2006.
Waldrop began his career in education as a social studies teacher and coach. A former adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College, Waldrop served as a trainer for the Mississippi Department of Education on the superintendent's role in accountability and assessment and as the Liaison for the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents (MASS) with the State Board of Education. He also has served as president of Northwest Mississippi Superintendents' Association; chairman of the MASS Statewide Committee for School Security and Safety and was a member of the Board of Directors of both the Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA) and the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents.
Dr. Waldrop served on the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Liaison Committee, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Blue Ribbon Commission for the Redesign of Administrative Preparation, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Blue Ribbon Committee for the Redesign of Teacher Preparation and the MDE Career Pathways Oversight Committee. He previously served on the MDE Advisory Committee on Dropout Prevention, the University of Mississippi School of Education Alumni Chapter Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Commission on Secondary and Middle Schools of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Governor Haley Barbour recently appointed him to serve on a state policy team to oversee the development of a turnaround plan for underperforming schools.
He was formally recognized by MASS for outstanding educational leadership and received the prestigious Golden Lamp award from MASA. He earned the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Delta Rural Systemic Initiative, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Delta State University and was named Alumni of the Year for the School of Education by the University of Mississippi.
Waldrop is a former member of the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation, the Mississippi Effective Schools Consortium and the National Assessment Governing Board.
He earned a Ph.D. and a M.Ed. in educational administration from the University of Mississippi and a B.S.E. from Delta State University. He and his wife Sondra have two grown sons, Dirk and Jason, and five grandchildren. Dr. Waldrop is a Baptist deacon and a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.