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JPS School Board Approves Dr. Phelton Moss to Fill New Role as Executive Director of Innovative Strategy

June 28, 2021

Phelton Cortez Moss
Dr. Phelton Moss

On Monday, June 21, the JPS Board of Trustees voted on the appointment of Dr. Phelton Cortez Moss to serve as the District's Executive Director of Innovative Strategy. This new role is funded through a William & Flora Hewlett Foundation grant and will support the design and implementation of a virtual high school. Dr. Moss will also oversee the implementation of afterschool, summer school, and the new STEM and computer coding initiatives. The virtual high school will open in the fall of 2022-2023.

Dr. Moss is a tenure-track professor of teacher education at the historic Tougaloo College and a school leadership consultant. He recently served as a Policy Fellow for Education Leaders of Color and provided strategic and policy advice across a range of national education issues for members, including early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, career, technical education, teacher diversity, and workforce development.

He has nine years of experience working in education and education policy as a classroom teacher, policymaker, and principal. As the youngest serving principal in Mississippi, his work in moving an underperforming middle school from an F to C in two years led him to become the Bureau Director of Educator Effectiveness and Talent Acquisition at the Mississippi Department of Education. In that role, he worked on K-12 education policy issues, including teacher diversity, teacher/leader evaluations, teacher recruitment and retention, educator licensure, and issues of inequity in the distribution of effective teachers.

Most notably, he led the design and launch of the nation's first state-run teacher residency program with a $4.5 million Kellogg Foundation Grant to address the state's teacher shortage and increase the diversity of the educator workforce in Mississippi. In addition, while serving at the Mississippi Department of Education, he completed the year-long national School Systems Leaders Fellowship along with 20 senior education leaders from across the country.

Dr. Moss began his career in education as a high school English teacher in Greenwood, Mississippi, where he was Teacher of the Year for two consecutive years and corps member of Teach for America. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Leadership and English from the University of Mississippi. Additionally, He has a certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University. Dr. Moss is a member of The Reading League National Board of Directors.