Carol S. Tharpe
Grenada Elementary School Green Top
Grenada School District
When Carol S. Tharpe became principal of Grenada Elementary School Green Top (GESGT), she had already served the school for nine years as assistant principal and the district for 10 years as a classroom teacher at Grenada Elementary Red Top. In her six-year tenure as principal of this rural fourth through fifth grade school, Tharpe has leveraged this experience to cultivate an engaged and dynamic professional environment that elevates teacher efficacy through systematic instructional leadership and shared accountability for learning outcomes. As a result, the school increased its overall rating from “C” to “A” in the first three years of her principalship and recently ranked sixth in the state for fifth grade science performance. Tharpe has implemented a variety of programs to increase literacy and promote a love of reading at GESGT, such as a book club boasting 70 participants annually that provides students an opportunity to practice collaboration and leadership in discussion groups. The school consistently exceeds reading goals though its Points Clubs and Capture the Flag competition, which challenge students to read more with special incentives, with students reading 30,935 books in 2022. Tharpe has also implemented a successful summer reading camp emphasizing comprehension strategies in a theme-based setting that combats summer learning loss while increasing awareness of environmental issues. Blue Cross Blue Shield recently named GESGT the “healthiest school in Mississippi.” Tharpe holds bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degrees from Delta State University.