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Loyd Star names new band director

An assistant band director finally gets the spotlight as head director in a new district.

Mark Dickerson will serve as the new band director for Loyd Star Attendance Center. He previously served as the assistant band director for Wesson Attendance Center.

Jeremy Donald, the school’s previous director, led the band for three years, and left at the end of the school year to work closer to his home.

“It looks like they’re doing a lot of things really well,” Dickerson said. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to work in a great community.”

Dickerson, 39, is originally from Lucedale. He has worked at several schools previously, including Clinton Junior High, Hernando High School and Quitman Public School District.

Dickerson received his bachelor’s and master’s in music education from the University of Mississippi. He has been teaching since 2001.

He already lived in Brookhaven, so the new director won’t have to travel far for his new job. His wife and he have two children — 2-year-old William and 9-month-old Caroline.

He found out about the open position at Loyd Star and saw an opportunity to become a head director. Dickerson applied and was accepted.

Before leaving, Donald picked the show theme for next year, but Dickerson was able to give ideas.

He is excited to meet with students and parents to set goals for the upcoming year.

“I think the community is proud of what they have and they’re willing to support the band,” Dickerson said.

Principal Robin Case said the school was sad to see Donald go, but they’re excited for what Dickerson can bring to the table.

“This was a very bittersweet thing,” Case said. “We were so sad to see him go, but he found an opportunity to be close to home that he couldn’t pass up.”

The turnaround for finding a replacement was fast. After talking to people who knew about band directors, Dickerson’s name kept coming up.

“He was highly recommended,” Case said. “I don’t think we’re gonna miss a beat. We’re pleased to have Dickerson stepping in. We’re gonna continue to grow. We’re on our way and I think he’s gonna help us on our journey.”

Story by Gracie Byrne