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Kelli G. Brown
Petal Elementary School
Petal School District
Petal, Mississippi

Kelli Brown has been principal of Petal Elementary School for six of her nine years as an administrator in Mississippi's Petal School District. Since 2009, Brown has worked relentlessly to create an environment in which teachers feel valued, supported, and empowered. According to 4th grade teacher Wyn Mims, she “conscientiously provides specific professional development geared toward curriculum and child development to build the strongest academic staff around.” With the help of Professional Learning Committees, data meetings, and the Shared Decision Making Committee, Brown ensures the progress of every student at Petal. One of her most significant accomplishments has been successfully incorporating the Common Core State Standards. Despite curriculum changes, students at Petal have continued to improve on both national benchmark tests and state assessments. Brown has also excelled by being approachable, friendly, and open. She smiles, listens, and calls students by their names. She abides by the “work hard, play hard” mentality, hosting annual kickball tournaments, ice cream parties, and other celebrations. In 2013, Brown was recognized as “Administrator of the Year” by Petal School District. She belongs to national organizations including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the International Literacy Association. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from William Carey University, as well as an M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi.