Innova Prep Welcomes Dr. Zachary Murphy As New Executive Director / Principal

May 27, 2022


HATTIESBURG, Miss.–Innova Preparatory School, an accredited institution recognized by the Mississippi Department of Education that serves students with concurrent gifts, talents, and learning differences, is pleased to welcome their new Executive Director and Principal, Dr. Zachary Murphy, and celebrate its outgoing leader, Sharon Ladner. After collaborating with the William Carey University School of Education and William Carey Vice President Dr. Ben Burnett to find the ideal candidate for the position, the Innova Prep team is confident that Murphy will empower students, staff, and families both within and beyond the classroom.

Dr. Zachary Murphy earned his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from William Carey University. Prior to joining the Innova team, Dr. Murphy served as a teacher, assistant principal, curriculum director, and principal within public, charter, and private school settings. “We are so thankful for Dr. Ben Burnett and William Carey University for helping us find Dr. Murphy,” Innova Board President Dr. Steven Farrell said. “He’s already such an asset to our families and teachers, and we look forward to seeing him use his gifts and talents to enrich our school community.”

Dr. and Mrs. Steven and Wendy Farrell, who took over the TIDE School and renamed and rebranded it as Innova Preparatory School, have poured their time, efforts, and resources into ensuring that all students in the Pine Belt receive the education they deserve. Outgoing principal Sharon Ladner, a veteran educator and leader who came out of retirement to help Innova get on its feet during its first years, was instrumental in allowing the Farrells to successfully operate the school. “Without Sharon, our students and staff would not be as successful as they are today,” Dr. Farrell said. “Her expertise and passion for helping students has made Innova what it is today. We can’t thank her enough for the legacy she’s leaving us here.”

To learn more about Innova Prep, which is currently accepting new students for the upcoming school year, visit or call their enrollment team at (601) 909-6605.

About Innova

Innova Prep is committed to providing exceptional students with the resources they need to be successful in and beyond the classroom. The traditional classroom often fails to empower these students, which is why Innova is dedicated to meeting students where they are and helping them get to where they need to be.

Our Mission

Innova Preparatory School provides a safe, nurturing, co-educational learning environment where students with concurrent talents, gifts, and learning differences receive the social, emotional, and behavioral support they need to thrive in and beyond the classroom.

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