Philley to lead school curiculum

Philley to lead school curiculum


Madison County Schools announced last week Dr. Melissa Philley will serve as the district’s next Director of Curriculum and Instruction. 

Dr. Philley brings more than two decades of teaching and administrative experience to the position, as well as academic expertise in the field of curriculum and instruction. She currently serves the district as principal of Madison Avenue Elementary.

“It is an honor and a thrill to be given the opportunity to serve the district in this role,” says Philley, who will step into the position of Director of Curriculum and Instruction this summer following the retirement of Cricket Erickson. “I look forward to building upon the great things Mrs. Erickson and the curriculum team already have in place. I am very passionate about instruction and student learning and am committed to working hard for the students and staff members of Madison County Schools,” she says.

As a professional educator, Philley has received numerous accolades and honors. She was recognized as Principal of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Elementary School Principals for 2017-2018 and was named a Distinguished Leadership Coach by the National Institute of School Leaders. While serving as a teacher and cheer sponsor at Madison Middle School Philley was awarded Teacher of the Year.

“I am proud to have hired Dr. Philley for her first teaching job in our district many years ago when I was a principal. I am also proud of the incredible impact she has made on so many students and teachers as an administrator,” says Madison County Schools Deputy Superintendent Ted Poore. “She is focused and driven in all that she does, and I know she will continue to take our curriculum and instruction to new heights,” says Poore.

Under Philley’s leadership as principal, Madison Avenue Elementary not only maintained an A rating on state accountability standards but also achieved the highest state accountability score among elementary schools in the state in 2023. The campus also earned model school status for both Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (P.B.I.S.) and Really Great Reading. Prior to leading Madison Avenue Elementary, Philley served as principal of Ann Smith Elementary, during which time the campus earned designation as a Whole-Arts School by the Mississippi Arts Commission, and became a model school for writing, balanced literacy, and P.B.I.S.

Philley earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi and her Education Specialist degree and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi State University. She and her husband Benjamin have two daughters, Libby Lane in ninth grade and Layla in sixth grade, both of whom are students in Madison County Schools.

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