New Year, New Head Principal


Emmy Dean

Dr. Thomas

Many new changes are beginning to blossom as the new school year begins. Melissa Thomas Ed.D is the new head principal at THS. Thomas hopes to maintain and improve upon everything in place for now.

 Like Art Dobbs before her, safety is still and has always been at the top of the priority list. Thomas came to Tupelo High School at the beginning of the 22-23 school year but has been in the Tupelo Public School District for ten years. 

With her background as head principal in Lawndale, Nettleton Junior High School, and Nettleton High school, it became evident that this is not Thomas’s first rodeo in a position like this.

“I have been a principal before, so I already had experience coming in. There is nothing that I have encountered that I had not expected,” Thomas said.

According to Thomas, one significant component has changed for the better. To some, it is the essential aspect of what makes or breaks a school.

“I like the atmosphere. I see more smiles. I see learning taking place, and we are [only] on day four of school. We have hit the ground running. I appreciate [students] for accommodating and jumping in and accepting some of the rules and expectations. I appreciate that you all are complying and giving it your best.” Thomas said.

So far, the environment is not the only thing Thomas was impressed by; one student, in particular, has caught Thomas’s eye. This student has made a sizeable impact on Thomas, even though school has just begun.

“[At about] 7:00-7:05, [a young lady is in the courtyard every morning.] She’s reading a novel called Little Women. [The girl] is always on time. She is respectful. [This girl is] engaging herself, and utilizing her downtime [to her benefit; it] was impressive.” Thomas said.

Thomas wishes to connect with the student and converse with her more.

“I might just start reading the book, so she and I can have a discussion while we sit out there and wait on everybody else to get here,” Thomas said.

Thomas does not expect this behavior from everyone; however, she expects everyone to go above and beyond what they believe they can do. 

“For me, [I expect] students to push themselves, challenge [themselves]; push the envelope a little bit and stretch themselves academically. If you’re capable [of taking] an AP course regardless of your race, your gender, your religion, [etc.]; if you’re capable, I want you to have enough courage and support to challenge yourself to take AP and dual credit classes,” Thomas said.

Thomas’s goal is to help all students succeed regardless of their path after high school. 

“College is not for everyone,” Thomas said. “If you have a desire to want to go into your own business and entrepreneurship or if you want to go to the military or if you want to simply go to work after school. I think we have resources to help you develop skills that you can go get you a really good job after school, take care of yourself, and be a productive citizen.”

Thomas wants students to know that no matter their situation that she and all the administrators are here for them. 

Thomas did not graduate as Valedictorian or Salutatorian; she did not even graduate in the top 10% of her class. However, she stresses that she was a hard-working, driven student with goals. 

Thomas knows that not every student has the resources or the support system at home to perform adequately academically. Yet, she hopes to plant a seed of hope that grows to inspire every student she comes across to strive for success. 

“All you need is a desire. If you have a desire and set goals, we will help you reach them,” Thomas said.