Carl Merritt, Superintendent of Schools at Poplarville School District, was inducted into the William Carey University Hall of Fame on March 27, 2015.
Carl Merritt Jr. earned the Bachelor of Science Degree in physical education in 1978 from William Carey University, the Master of Administration/Supervision from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1985, and returned to Carey to earn the Specialist in Education in 1990.
Currently, Merritt serves as the superintendent of the Poplarville School District, a position he has held since 2007. He also served the Poplarville School District as assistant superintendent from 2005-2006. Other positions he has held include principal of Poplarville High School, assistant principal/coach at Poplarville Middle School, assistant principal/athletic director/attendance supervisor at Pine High School in Franklinton, Louisiana.
Selected by fellow superintendents to serve on the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents (MASS), Merritt has served as secretary of the executive board. He will serve as president-elect for the 2015-2016 academic year and as president for 2016-2017. As principal at Poplarville High School, he successfully initiated programs to improve instruction and student achievement leading to some of the highest test scores in Mississippi. In addition, during this tenure at Poplarville High School, the school received the rating of Level 5, the highest possible rating for high schools in Mississippi. He also created team teaching techniques in special education classrooms, leading to increased state test scores and improved teacher instruction, initiated SOS (Save Our Students), a program which identifies and assists at-risk students, and successfully completed the Southern Association of Accreditation for Poplarville Schools.
Named Poplarville School District Administrator of the Year, Merritt was also recognized by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, in Washington, D.C. Under his leadership, Poplarville High School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School, one of the highest honors a high school can receive from the Mississippi Department of Education and Federal Government, and received the PREPS (Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools) Award in 2002, 2005, and 2012-2015 for academic excellence.
In addition to his membership in the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, Merritt serves as a board member for the Pearl River County Crime Stoppers and is a member of the Shriner’s Organization and the Masonic Lodge. He is also a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals, Mississippi School Board Association, Mississippi High School Athletic Association, and the Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium, where he served as a board member.
Merritt has shared the value of the quality of education he received at Carey with students, family and friends. Not only did Merritt and his wife, Beverly (Lawrence) ’78, graduate from Carey, but his son Ryan ’04 and his brothers Harold ‘80 and Mark ’81 attended on athletic scholarships and received their degrees in education.
The photo shows Carl Merritt and his family at the awards ceremony. The photo is courtesy of the Picayune Item.