Estes Taplin, currently superintendent of the South Delta School District, was principal of Wilkinson County High School in Woodville at the time of his Milken Educator Award. He believes that the educator's role has become more complex in recent years. It is not enough to tend just to the child's mind according to Mr. Taplin; "we must also try to educate the child's heart." Mr. Taplin adds that "school exists for the purpose of providing opportunities for students to develop mentally, socially, physically and emotionally. These opportunities are made possible by a well-trained, dedicated faculty, good physical facilities, and an expanded curriculum." In his role as principal Mr. Taplin helped foster an atmosphere or mutual support and cooperation for faculty and students. "I firmly believe that collegiality has more to do with student achievement than anything else. Therefore, I have tried to make the workplace more inviting for teachers and have encouraged teamwork," he said. Mr. Taplin also encourages teachers to explore innovative programs and supports their decision to implement them. Mr. Taplin was a Harvard University Thomas R. Ward Fellow.
1972 Alcorn State University, B.A.