LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - A new leader is set to take over the Long Beach School District, and a lifelong passion for her community will be at the core of how incoming superintendent Dr. Talia Lock will tackle her new position.
“I have my heart here, and there’s no doubt that I’m invested in Long Beach,” Lock said.
Lock’s investment now means she’ll be leading a school system she’s been involved with for most of her life.
“I went to school here from 7th grade on. I graduated from Long Beach High School; I live in this community. I know our students are the best students, they deserve the best, and I’m the one who’s going to help with that,” Lock said.
As principal of Long Beach High School, Lock has navigated a multimillion dollar school expansion and renovation. It was a project passed under the leadership of outgoing Superintendent Jay Smith.
“I know that I have to continue carrying on this project making sure that it’s done well so that I can protect the taxpayers’ dollars, so that later on down the road we don’t have issues with that,” Lock said.
With more than two decades as an educator, problem-solving comes naturally for Lock, and now she plans to build on her existing relationships to make an already A-rated school district even better.
“I have a lot to listen, learn and observe. Then after that, it’s definitely identify for improvement, growth, opportunity, and once we identify those, it’s time to take action and come up with a plan,” she said.
A specific area Lock is focused on is improving career and technical education.
“We’re trying to make sure our students are ready to compete on a local, national and global level, whether that be college-bound or the workforce.”
Even though Lock’s new office won’t be in a school building, it’s not going to change her approach to connecting with students.
“I know it’s going to be different, but I still plan on being involved, being around, being active, being in those classrooms and looking at each student in the eye so that they know I care about them,” she said.
Lock will continue in her position as Long Beach High School principal until the end of the school year. Outgoing Superintendent Jay Smith is leaving to take the same position in the North Pike School District.