Principal's Page



Short Bio:

Eric K. Boney is a native of Hattiesburg.  He is a Hattiesburg High graduate.  He worked in the Petal School District for 14 years as an assistant principal. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Rehabilitation Services, Master’s Degree in Education Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is currently enrolled and pursuing a Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership at William Carey University.

Prior to becoming assistant principal at the Petal High School in 2003, he was an 8th grade history teacher at N.R. Burger Middle School and served as the department chair while there. Mr. Boney has participated as a member of the district strategic planning committee and numerous other teams in the Petal School District. Mr. Boney has headed initiatives such as closing the achievement gap and multicultural committee at Petal High School. He has served as keynote speaker for Petal’s Veteran’s Day and Black History Programs.

Mr. Boney has been a member of the U.S. Army Reserves for 27 years and has attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is a member of the 75th Training Command Gulf Division as Observer Controller/Trainer. He has served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2011-12 LTC Boney served as the Logistic Task Force Commander for AFSB, 401st Army Field Support Brigade in Afghanistan.  He earned a Bronze Star and a Combat Action Badge while serving in Afghanistan.

Mr. Boney believes that all students can learn and good teaching is the key to student achievement.

Personal Code of Ethics

“Students don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  That was the first attention getting quote I heard when I got into education.  Coming from a profession in the Department of Human Services in the Division of Youth Services and the Youth Court, a career I had before I entered into education, I already understood this quote in practice but had never heard it verbalized.  When working at the youth court in the 1990s, I dealt with some of the behaviorally worst children at times.  Although these children were in trouble with the law, they had underlining issues primary to their legal ones.  Most times I had to understand that, find out what they were, and show some caring and understanding before I could began to counsel, rehabilitate and be successful with them.  Once they realized I cared, they were more willing to listen and comply.  The same thing is true when educating students.

My Ethical Principles

I have seven ethical principles that guide my professional life.  My first ethical principle is to genuinely care about children.  Many of the children we teach come to us with other needs, problems, and circumstances other than the need to be educated.  Although we cannot always solve those things, showing interest in and caring about a child can be that sliver of hope he or she needs to persevere.  When dealing with students from a discipline point of view, I try to emphasize and show understanding whenever possible even though I have to make a disciplinary decision. 

My second principal is to provide a clear vision.  As an assistant principal striving toward becoming a supervising principal, I realize that I must provide a clear vision as to how we are going to achieve our goals and meet our targets as a faculty and staff.  It is the responsibility of a leader to be able to paint a picture to enable his followers to visualize where they are going.

My third principle is to build a cohesive team and build trust.  In order for schools to achieve their goals and move in the same direction, they must be a team.  The administration at the school must be a team.  Each department must be a team and the whole faculty and staff must be a team to accomplish the educational goals of the school.  Team building is very important in meeting educational success as a school.  Cohesive team members have trust in one another and each individual member execute actions that reflects the team’s goals.

My fourth principal is to create a shared understanding with the organization.  Everyone in the organization should know what the mission statement is and understand what their role is as a part of that mission.  It is incumbent upon the leader to articulate the vision in order to get the team to operate towards a cohesive team to accomplish their goal.  All persons involved should understand how we will accomplish the mission.

The fifth principle to my personal code of ethics is to use data to drive my decisions.  There is an old saying that says, “The numbers don’t lie.”  Basically this means is use the information and the feedback to determine your decisions and strategies to solve a problem.  The sixth principle is to respect and empower others.  It is important to respect others as individuals and understand that they have worth and are valued.  Leaders should treat their followers in a manner of fairness and respectfulness.  I believe in shared leadership or participative leadership.  I, as a leader cannot do everything alone.  To reach a desired outcome, I seek to empower other members of the team so that they can take action on their own to help accomplish the schools mission as well as improve their own lives.  The last principle that I am guided by is if it is illegal or immoral, then don’t do it.  I believe this statement speaks for itself.

Principal’s Vision

When I start communicating my vision, I begin with the end in mind.  My goal for the overall grade assignment for the Hattiesburg High School is an A, derived from the MS Accountability Model and it’s components by 2021 school year.  You might ask, how do we get there?  First, all of our decisions must be based on one question.  What is best for students?  I am starting this by departmentalizing the core subject areas and implementing regularly scheduled PLCs for teacher collaboration, determining strategies, common assessments, analyzing data, and etc. 

Classroom teaching will reflect learning targets and begin with a bell-ringer that will reflect either essential, ACT or MAP styled questions related to that subject.  Classroom teaching should be dynamic, active, rigorous, collaborative, student-centered and inquiry based while using technology when appropriate, multiple strategies and resources.  Teachers will teach bell to bell.  Teachers should build relationships and become culturally literate.  We will increase our CTE and ROTC programs, AP, dual-credit enrollment and dual enrollments.  We will thrive in the academics, athletics and the arts.