Michael Eubanks named next Laurel Superintendent

michael eubanks in suite and tie with a background of faded golden and green

The Laurel School District Board of Trustees has named Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Eubanks as the next superintendent of the Laurel School District. Eubanks will begin his new role July 1, 2024, following the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Toy L. Watts.

Eubanks brings a wealth of experiences having served as teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent.

“Dr. Eubanks is the best choice to lead the Laurel School District with the continued positive trajectory and success we have enjoyed over the last seven years,” said Board of Trustees President Dr. James Johnson-Hill. “Dr. Eubanks is an innovative, hardworking, proven leader and he loves the students of Laurel.”

While serving as the district’s assistant superintendent, Eubanks has worked as the director of operations, overseeing maintenance, facilities, security, athletics, transportation, and over $25 million in construction projects. Additionally, he serves in a supervisory role to the schools’ principals, providing support in the areas of professional growth, accountability and academic success.

Prior to serving as assistant superintendent, Eubanks served for three years as principal of Laurel High School. During his time, the school saw significant improvements in the school’s graduation rate, scholarship totals, academic standing, and in the number of advanced placement and dual enrollment courses offered. Working in partnership with Jones College, Eubanks worked to receive the designation as a School of Innovation allowing for the creation of Middle College. The Middle College program allows high school seniors to graduate with an associate degree and high school diploma simultaneously.

“In everything from establishing the Middle College program to driving a bus route when we were short-handed, Dr. Eubanks has demonstrated that the safety and success of our children is his first priority,” Johnson-Hill said. “With Dr. Eubanks’ selection as our next Superintendent, the Board of Trustees have served the children and community of Laurel well by ensuring continuity in leadership and vision. The future of the Laurel School District is very bright and will continue to be in great hands.”

Eubanks received a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Pre-Med and Minor in Chemistry from Delta State University, and a Master of Education, Specialist Degree and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration all from William Carey University. Eubanks has continued to further his education by completing the Educational Leadership Forum and the Mississippi School Boards Association’s Prospective Superintendent Leadership Academy.

Dr. Michael Eubanks will transition to superintendent on July 1, 2024 with a yearly salary of $145,000 and a four-year contract term.

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be appointed to the role of superintendent for the esteemed Laurel School District,” Eubanks said. “With great enthusiasm, I commit myself to upholding and enhancing the legacy of academic, athletic, and artistic excellence that defines our district, and I am dedicated to fostering a strong collaboration among students, families, teachers, and community members, as together we can achieve remarkable feats both within and beyond the classroom.”

The Cleveland, Mississippi native is no stranger to excellence in the classroom, and beyond. During his time at Delta State University, Eubanks was a star scholar-athlete who still holds school and conference records to this day. A two-time Gulf South Conference (GSC) Defensive Player of the Year, and a GSC Defensive Player of the Decade, Eubanks’ time with the Delta State Statesmen has earned him numerous accolades, including being named a three-time All-American and a Harlon Hill Trophy national finalist. As one of the most decorated players in Statesmen football history, Eubanks, a three-time AFCA All-American, finished third in final balloting for the Harlon Hill Trophy, presented annually to NCAA Division II's player of the year, in 2007 after leading DSU to the GSC title and a quarterfinal finish in the DII playoffs.

With an extensive collegiate football career, Eubanks plans to bring many of the lessons learned into his role as superintendent.

“Drawing inspiration from the athletic realm, where terms like ‘bigger, faster, stronger’ motivate teams, the Laurel School District will adopt a ‘bigger’ mindset that embraces innovation and new ideas. We will be ‘faster’ in our responsiveness to the needs of all students, ensuring that no one is left behind. Moreover, we will grow ‘stronger’ in our resilience to overcome any obstacles that may come our way. I eagerly anticipate the remarkable journey that lies ahead as we nurture growth and collaboratively create something truly extraordinary.”