Phone: (601) 346-5660/5672


Degrees and Certifications:

Ph.D. Mississippi State University Ed.S Jackson State University MS- Alcorn State University BA- Alcorn State University 486-Career Level Administrator 181-Biology 192-Social Studies 144-Health & Physical Education

Dr. Spurgeon Banyard

Dr. Spurgeon Banyard has been an educator and administrator for over two decades. His educational preparation began with his earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, and a Master in Secondary Education from Alcorn State University. He earned an Education Specialist in Education Administration and Supervision from Jackson State University; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education Administration and Supervision from Mississippi State University. Additionally, Dr. Banyard has completed Principal Institute training at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS; Principal Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS; and most recently, McPherson and Jacobson’s Superintendent Academy in Omaha, Nebraska.

Dr. Banyard’s extensive educational experience and training has given him a unique perspective in creating a leadership style that motivates students, parents, faculty and staff; administrators, and community and business leaders. Dr. Banyard believes in doing what is best for children, and in putting children first. In the year of 2018-2019, Dr. Banyard completed a year long program with The National Institute For School Leadership. NISL headquarters is located in Washington, DC.

Assistant Principal

Phone: (601) 346-5660


Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Samecia Stokes

Motivated by excellence and driven by a love for teaching and learning, Dr. Stokes has served as an educator at all levels: elementary, middle and high school. Believing that teaching is a calling, she is humbled to have taught high school Honors English and numerous courses as an adjunct professor to students seeking a Master of Science in Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching. Dr. Stokes earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education/Emphasis in School Administration (Mississippi State University), Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Supervision (Jackson State University), and a Bachelor of Arts in English (Tougaloo College.) While at Tougaloo College, she reigned as “Miss Tougaloo College.” While a presidential scholar at Tougaloo college, Dr. Stokes was also named in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities". Additionally, she was honored as the first “Miss Tougaloo College” to be nationally recognized as an Andrew Mellon fellow for an undergraduate fellowship.

An energetic, caring instructional leader of over two decades and Leadership Greater Jackson graduate, Dr. Stokes has presented at the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) conference, served as Executive Editor of the JPS Literacy Roadmap (Jackson Public Schools), invited to attend the Harvard Principals’ Institute, completed the Millsaps Principals’ Institute, and has held memberships in several professional organizations, such as the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Mississippi Association for Middle Level Educations (MAMLE), Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), and the Graduate Teacher Education Council (Belhaven University), just to name a few. Although Dr. Stokes has received many awards and honors over the years, her most memorable accomplishment is the national education award and presentation from AASA (American Association for School Administrators.) She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Stokes enjoys spending quality time with family, fishing and canoeing, reading great books (or anything truly interesting), interior decorating, celebrating others and living life to the fullest, collecting antiques and eccentric pieces, traveling the world, and walking barefoot on the grass at Dawn. She and her husband are the very proud parents of two, amazing men-of-valor in the making. Dr. Stokes decrees and declares victory in all things and lives by her philosophy of life that is recorded in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Last Modified on October 20, 2020