BSD leader plans retirement in June

Published 9:07 pm Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Ben Cox is leaving his post to retire, he said Friday.

Cox announced his resignation at a recent school board meeting, but didn’t provide details on why at the time.

Cox’s resignation will take effect June 20, giving the district seven months to find a replacement. Cox said he’s stepping down to spend time with his family.

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“I’m retiring,” he said. “I had a wonderful time here in Brookhaven. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the faculty, and the staff and the students, and I’ve especially enjoyed working with the school board. They’re a wonderful group of people, and I could not ask for a better situation.”

Before coming to Brookhaven, Cox served as North Pike superintendent for 14 years. He took over after a period of uncertainty at the position. Lisa Karmacharya, the permanent superintendent before Cox, resigned in 2013. She faced heavy criticism by faculty and low performance in the Mississippi Public School Accountability rankings.

The school district agreed to pay her $125,00 as part of an agreement that allowed her departure.

The sudden vacancy left the district without a superintendent. On June 9, 2013, two days after Karmacharya’s departure, Stephanie Henderson was unanimously voted in as interim superintendent. Cox stepped in as permanent superintendent on Jan. 30, 2014.

School board members said discussions about Cox’s replacement would begin at the next meeting.

The school district was given a “D” grade by the state in October of last year, the same grade it received in 2013. This year’s results will be released early next year.