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Brian Jernigan Named Incoming Nettleton Superintendent

By Emma Crawford Kent

*This article courtesy of The Daily Journal

TUPELO – Ten years after joining the Monroe County School District as assistant superintendent, Brian Jernigan has been hired as superintendent of the Nettleton School District.

Jernigan, who will replace current Nettleton superintendent Michael Cates, will officially step into his new role July 1.

“Everything just seemed to fit, so I made the decision to make the change,” Jernigan said.

Jernigan said he plans to visit the Nettleton School District to begin preparing for his new role before then, but he wants to remain focused on his responsibilities in Monroe County until the official transition.

Cates announced his retirement in January.

“I’m certainly looking forward to working with community of Nettleton and the staff and students,” Jernigan said. “I know they’ve made some good progress and growth, and I look forward to building on that.”

Before being hired as assistant superintendent in Monroe County, Jernigan was a principal in the Tupelo Public School District. Prior to his time in Tupelo, he was a teacher in the Aberdeen School District.

For Jernigan, the move to Nettleton will be bittersweet.

“It’s certainly an exciting and a sad time as well because I’ve gotten to know and develop many relationships here in the 10 years that I’ve been here, but I’m not going to be too far up the road, so it’s not too bad,” Jernigan said. “It’s difficult when you’ve been somewhere for so long to make that transition, but I’m sure I will develop many positive relationships in Nettleton as well.”

Jernigan said he already knows several people in the Nettleton community, including some teachers and administrators in the school district, which he hopes will make the transition a smooth one.

He also hopes that the district and Nettleton community will embrace the change so they can work together to support Nettleton’s students.

“I know that there is probably some apprehension, as there always is when you have change in a school district, but I want to encourage the staff that things will be just fine,” Jernigan said. “I think they’ll find that I’m very easy to work with.”