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Oxford School District has two finalists for Mississippi Teacher, Administrator of the Year awards

The Mississippi Department of Education announced this week that the annual Mississippi Teacher and Administrator of the Year awards were going virtual, and Oxford School District has two among the finalists.

For the first time, the awards ceremony will not take place in person, but instead be live-streamed on July 23 at 4 p.m. This ceremony usually takes place in the spring, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be four finalists, one from each congressional district, in both categories.

The finalists for Administrator of the Year include Bramlett Elementary principal Keri Jo Sapp, representing OSD and the First Congressional District. The other three finalists include: Inverness Elementary principal Brenda Singleton of Sunflower County Consolidated School District (Second Congressional District); Mannsdale Upper Elementary principal Debra Houghton of Madison County School District (Third Congressional District) and Laurel Magnet School of the Arts principal Kiana Pendleton of Laurel School District (Fourth Congressional District).

Representing OSD and the First Congressional District in the Teacher of the Year category is Oxford High School Biology/Pre-AP Biology teacher Sarah Robinson. Robinson was named the OSD Teacher of the Year in January, making her eligible for the statewide honor.

The other three finalists are: Clinton High School 11th grade Honors Mathematics teacher Mina Darnell (Second Congressional District); Forest High School ninth through 11th grade Mathematics teacher April Lang (Third Congressional District) and Petal High School 10th grade Social Studies teacher Benjamin Austin (Fourth Congressional District).

Lafayette County is trying to win its third-straight Mississippi Teacher of the Year award. Lafayette High School choral teacher Hannah Gadd won the top teaching honor last year and Lafayette Upper Elementary special education teacher Whitney Drewrey won in 2018.