Moore named Administrator of the Year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 1, 2010

NATCHEZ — As a hometown boy, helping Natchez High School is more than just a job for Principal Cleveland Moore Jr.

Moore is the Natchez-Adams School District’s 2010 Administrator of the Year. His peers voted the first-year principal into the position, Assistant Superintendent Morris Stanton said.

“I think what happened is they saw how Natchez High is this year, and compared it to previous years,” Stanton said. “They looked at that, and saw (Moore’s) potential and said this is the face we want to represent the Natchez-Adams School District.”

Moore, a lifelong resident of Natchez and a member of the NHS class of 1991, said his focus is to restore Natchez High School to prominence.

“During my time at Natchez High School as a student, we were a flagship school,” he said. “At present, the faculty and staff are committed to changing the culture at Natchez High.”

Including his staff in the decision making process at Natchez High is part of his style, Moore said.

“Their input is valuable to the success of our school,” he said. “As principal, it is my responsibility to provide teachers with the tools needed to provide quality instruction in the classroom.”

Athletic Director Fred Butcher is a mentor to Moore, and Butcher said the young principal deserved the award.

“First of all, he’s smart and he listens, and I think that is what all administrators need to do — listen,” Butcher said. “Experience is what is going to fine tune him, he listens, he is organized, and his people skills are also one of his stronger points.”

Initially, Moore said he only wanted to be a teacher. While in sixth grade, Moore’s teachers at Morgantown Elementary School inspired him to consider administration.

“(My Morgantown) teachers were the first to plant the seed,” Moore said. “Former administrators of the Natchez-Adams School District, Mr. Larry Jackson and the late Mr. Oscar K. Reed, encouraged me to go into the field of administration.”

Stanton recalls visiting the campus and being impressed that Moore could call students by their names, just to see if they are having a good day.

“Now, a student will never admit it, but it does something for the student,” Stanton said. “It is a good feeling to be able to say, ‘I’m one in 1,000, and the principal knows my name.’”

Moore is a young, up and coming charismatic professional, Stanton said.

“He is eager to learn, he soaks up new information like a sponge soaks up water, so he can be as effective as he can be for the district,” Stanton said. “His staff and campus believe in him and his leadership — he has a bright future.”

Superintendent Anthony Morris said he liked Moore’s work ethic and humility.

“He is very open to constructive criticism,” Morris said. “He realized that he has a lot to learn, but he has a great attitude in doing what is necessary to get the job done.

“Mr. Moore is working very hard to provide a safe learning environment for the Natchez High School family and understands the major focus is to improve student achievement to ensure the students’ success when they leave Natchez High,” Morris said.

Moore thanked his faculty, staff, Morris and Stanton.

“I feel truly blessed and honored to be selected by my peers as Administrator of the Year,” he said.

Moore graduated from Jackson State University with a bachelor’s degree in 1996 and received a master’s from JSU in 1999.