New Additions to Philadelphia Public School Leadership Team

Melishia Hancock is taking over as the new Principal for Philadelphia Elementary School. Ms. Hancock has been a part of the Philadelphia Public School District for over 20 years. Her former roles include teacher, two years as Assistant Principal at Philadelphia High School and most recently working in the Superintendent’s Office as the Director of Federal Programs/Curriculum. Ms. Hancock is National Board certified in Early Adolescent Math, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi, and has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University. She has three children, two daughters ages 18 and 15 and one son, age six.

Goal for the year: “I look forward to working with our teachers to help our students reach their fullest potential academically. I am so excited to have this opportunity to circle back to the campus where my career started and make a difference."

Dr. Gregory Stephens is the Director of Curriculum and Federal Programs for the Philadelphia Public School District. Dr. Stephens has been an educator and administrator for well over two decades. Dr. Stephens has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development, Master of Science Degree in Sports Administration and Kinesiology, Educational Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration and Supervision with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction all of which came from Mississippi State University. Dr. Stephens is currently working on his Master of Science Degree in Counseling. He has completed over thirty graduate hours in elementary education from the University of West Alabama. Dr. Stephens comes from a family of educators.  He is married with two sons ages 19 and 14. 

Goal for the Year: “I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders to provide the very best educational opportunities for each and every child of the Philadelphia Public School District.”

Mina Mooney will be joining Philadelphia Public School District as the Director of Child Nutrition/Public Relations. Ms. Mooney is a graduate of Delta State University and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Media/Design.  Ms. Mooney has an extensive background working in the Advertising, Marketing, and Hospitality Industry and has worked as a journalist for several newspapers, media outlets and websites.

Goal for this year: “Build a positive image of Philadelphia Public Schools by nurturing community relationships and focusing on all the wonderful accomplishments the students are reaching.”

Justin Richardson will be joining Philadelphia Public School District as the Business Manager. Mr. Richardson graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with emphasis in Banking and Finance and a minor in Economics. He has worked in various departments in the Construction Industry including Accounting, Human Relations, Safety, Payroll and Logistics. Justin is married to Amanda Richardson, and they have a daughter named Sellers Richardson. 

Goal for the year: “To ensure that Philadelphia Public School District remains in strong financial health and to work closely with the rest of our leadership team identifying areas where we can enhance our processes or work more efficiently.”

Stacy Shields will be joining Philadelphia Public School as the Director of Special Services/Testing Coordinator. Mrs. Shields has spent the last five years in the Meridian Public School District where she served as Case Manager for the Office of Exceptional Education. Mrs. Shields received her B. S. from Mississippi State University, a M. S. in Educational Leadership, and an Ed. S. in Special Education Administration from Arkansas State University. She most recently received an additional M. S. Degree in Psychometry from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Mrs. Shields is married to Jeremy Shields and has four daughters: Kamryn, a Speech Pathology Major at the University of Mississippi; Lexie, a Special Education Major at the University of Southern Mississippi; Brookle and Katie eleventh graders at West Lauderdale.

Goal for the year: “I am looking forward to being a part of Philadelphia Public Schools and making a difference in the lives of students. To be part of an administrative team that provides support and resources to improve student outcomes.”

Philadelphia Public School District wants all our families to know that we are committed to partnering with you to make this the best year we can for ALL our children. The Tornado community is a family; we love our students, our work, and our schools. Our staff has put in countless hours this summer to shape this year as one of growth for all our students.

*Group Photo – (L to R) Justin Richardson, Stacy Shields, Mina Mooney, Dr. Gregory Stephens

*Principal Photo – Melishia Hancock