Geraldine Barnes recognized for 25 years of service

Dr. Rachel Carpenter selected as new MGCCC board of trustees member

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Board of Trustees recognized Geraldine Barnes for her 25 years of service on the board during a meeting on January 22. Initially appointed to the Board in 1988, Barnes retired from her position in December 2013.

A former elementary school principal, Barnes is a long time supporter of education on the coast. She has been a member of the Association of Educators, Friends of the Library, and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. She also sponsors MGCCC scholarships to for Jackson County students.

Barnes said she is proud of the accomplishments at the college during her tenure, including the expansion of the college’s nursing program, increased diversity within the community college system administration and the technological advancements that aid student success.

Dr. Rachel Carpenter was appointed to fill the vacancy. Her term began in January 2014.

A retired educator with the Moss Point School District, Carpenter served as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent.  She has also served as a consultant with Mississippi Action for Progress in Jackson, and as a School Improvement Specialist, head teacher and director of the Children’s Laboratory of Learning at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg.  She has a doctorate in education from USM and is AA certified in gifted education and AAA certified in administration. Additionally, she has been an adjunct professor in education at USM’s Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach since 1997.

“Ms. Barnes has served the college well over the past 25 years, lending her educational insights and expertise to Board decisions,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president.  “We are sad to see her retire but are pleased to have someone of Dr. Carpenter’s caliber take the position.  Dr. Carpenter will be a great asset to the Board and the college.”

The Board of Supervisors in each county of the college’s district selects members to serve on board.  The 23-member Board of Trustees meets monthly.


Kathy McAdams is an award-winning journalist who has worked at weekly newspapers in Mississippi and the Press-Register in Mobile, Ala. A native of Gulfport, McAdams attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, William Carey University, the University of South Alabama and The University of Southern Mississippi. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and journalism and a master's degree in education and English. She has worked at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College since 2005.