Dr. Rob Picou, a native of New Orleans, has been an educator for the last 30 years serving as an English teacher, a principal and most recently as a superintendent.
Prior to his appointment in Tupelo, he spent 20 years in public schools in the state of Alaska.
Picou, entering this third year leading the Tupelo district, received his Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Arts in Political Philosophy from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English from University of New Orleans.
He also served in the United States Marine Corps.
He previously served as the Superintendent of the Lower Yukon School District serving 10 K-12 schools, where he created APEX learning cyber spaces, resulting in an increased number of students taking advanced online courses. His leadership experience also includes:
•Superintendent for 3 years of the Bering Strait School District, where he secured $7.6 million in federal grants focused on dropout prevention, student achievement and staff development. He led the district to increase its graduation rate from 46% to 73% with an emphasis on personalized learning and multiple pathways to graduation.
•Executive Director of Instruction for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, the 2nd largest urban district in Alaska with a student population of 19,600, 47 schools and a budget of $247 million. His focus there was on school climate and connectedness with a program called ‘Capturing Kids’ Hearts’, which resulted in an increase of the graduation rate from 71% to 93% over a three-year period in one of their largest comprehensive high schools. As a result of state and federal legislative funding efforts and a partnership with the University of Alaska, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District designed the first Middle College, allowing college-ready high school students to work toward an AA degree with 32 college credits before graduating from high school.
While his work has been in Alaska, Dr. Picou has personal ties with Mississippi and follows the work of public schools here. He considers Mississippi his home and continues to have a house in Pass Christian, where he and his family have commuted to and from Alaska for nearly two decades. He and his wife, Jodi, a retired educator, have two sons — Will, age 13 and Cole, age 10.
Dr. Picou’s experience includes leading educators, parents and business communities through complex change initiatives to achieve superior results in multiple districts serving students with a broad spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to lead the TPSD team. I am committed to a culture where our staff members are involved in the decision-making process, where our community feels valued and part of the team, where parents feel hope and encouragement, and most importantly, where every student loves to learn. My family and I are eager to dive into Tupelo and to contribute to what makes this community so unique,” stated Dr. Picou.
Board of Trustees’ President Eddie Prather stated, ”We took a serious look at what our stakeholders told us they wanted in the next leader. We wanted someone with a vision to move our district forward and without a doubt, we feel that."
Dr. Rob Picou, Superintendent