DELISLE, Miss. (WLOX) - In one week, DeLisle Elementary Principal Dr. Mandy Lacy will find out if she is Mississippi’s Administrator of the Year for 2021. Her biggest goal was to create a place where the students want to be, not where they have to be, after one of the most challenging years in education.
Lacy may be the principal at DeLisle Elementary, but the classroom is her happy place.
“Regardless of what kind of day we’re having, I spend time in the classroom just to rejuvenate my soul and help me get back to my why,” said Lacy.
Her why is the children.
“I mean, I don’t know that many of us do this for many other reasons,” she said. “It certainly isn’t for the recognition. It’s just seeing that look on their face when they remember you several years later.”
Lacy has spent all 19 years of her career at DeLisle Elementary as a teacher, assistant principal and now principal. She was nominated as district administrator of the year. In March, she was selected to represent the 4th Congressional District, which is the second time she has earned the honor.
“I feel like all the administrators in our district are worthy of that recognition, for sure,” Lacy said. “We’ve all worked very hard, non-stop, to get our kids back in the building; to make sure they had what they needed.”
And to do that, she wants to be a part of the learning process every day.
“You know, I’m not in my office often. I’m frequently out and about. I’m in classrooms, I’m visible,” said Lacy.
And, she’s helpful to the 50 member staff, like kindergarten teacher Melanie Flowers.
“She’s made me a better teacher, for sure,” Flowers said. “I came in, and I was a very shy person and now, she has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I’ve taught kindergarten and first grade here. So, she likes to push you.”
School counselor Rebecca Dodd has a bigger title for Lacy.
“I like to say she’s the administrator of the world,” she said. “Because she tried to do it all to the best of her ability. And, she’s also a great mother; and a great wife. We adore her family and she’s just the best. She deserved it, absolutely.”
If she wins, this will be the second time Lacy will be named Administrator of the Year in the 4th Congressional District. The first in 2019.