2018-19 HCSD Administrator of the Year

Meet 2018-19 HCSD Administrator of the Year

The Lyman Elementary PTO threw a surprise celebration for the school principal on Friday.  Mrs. Melanie Upton was overwhelmed with emotion as she walked into the school auditorium and saw the sea of well wishers.

“A total surprise! It’s Friday, so on top of it being Friday and everybody wants to go home, because they’ve had a busy week and worked hard, they all wanted to stay and do this together for me.  It just demonstrates just how great these people are,” said Upton.

The auditorium was filled with excited teachers, parents and students.

“We just love Mrs. Upton and everything she does for our school, and we are so honored that she got this award this year.  She is amazing!” said Shonna McNeill, Lyman Elementary PTO President.

Mrs. Upton found out during a Harrison County School Board meeting on Monday that she had been named Harrison County School District’s 2018-2019 Administrator of the Year.
Melanie Upton

“Getting the honor of Administrator of the Year was, of course, very humbling and it was very sweet, but then all the phone calls and messages and everything that I got from everybody was neat. All the messages were so sweet,” said Upton. “To get the honor is amazing, but then to know that your coworkers support you that way, too, is even more special.”

Mrs. Upton started her teaching career at D’Iberville Middle School in 1995.  Three years later, she moved to West Wortham Elementary & Middle School, where she served as second grade teacher, instructional literacy coach and assistant principal.  Mrs. Upton became the principal of Lyman Elementary in 2017.  After her first full year as principal, Lyman achieved an A rating from MDE for the first time.  

“We were so excited and we were just filled with joy for her, because we are so proud of her,” said McNeill.

Along with the school’s academic achievements, Mrs. Upton worked with teachers to form Lyman Elementary’s first Junior Beta Club and Math Counts team.  She also collaborated with parents and teachers to form the school’s first PTO, and a new system for rewarding students who achieve their goals.  Mrs. Upton believes in empowering staff members, and students, to take control of their learning by instituting an environment built on accountability, responsibility, and trusting relationships.

“This is what makes you administrator of the year, this and the kids,” Upton said as she pointed to the crowd.  “It’s wonderful! Makes me proud to do this every day.”