• Matthew L. Dillon, Ph.D., a native of Columbia, MS, and product of the public school system, was appointed superintendent of the Petal School District (PSD) in 2014.

    Prior to his appointment as superintendent, he served as assistant superintendent for the Tupelo Public School District and principal in the Pearl Public School District. He began his educational career as a teacher, coach, and assistant principal at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels.

    Under Dr. Dillon’s leadership, PSD has been named the number one school district in the state and is recognized annually as an “A” school district by the Mississippi Department of Education. Graduation rate is at an all-time high and the district is consistently competitive on a national level with the NWEA testing assessment that measures growth and proficiency. Other highlights during his tenure include the “one-to-one” initiative to provide chrome books for every student, increased Career and Technical Education opportunities such as the Utility Lineman program with Chain Electric, the implementation of Project SEARCH – a program focused on providing education and training to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as increased participation in arts and athletics.  

    In 2021, he was named Mississippi Superintendent of the Year by the Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA). He was also recognized in 2019 as the Mississippi Haggar Hall of Fame Dad of the Year, appearing on the Steve Harvey Show in Los Angeles. In 2018, the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) presented him with the Outstanding Administrator award and in 2017, he was named Petal Person of the Year by the Petal News.

    Dillon currently serves on the State Superintendent Advisory Council for the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and as chairman of the Eastern States Consortium. He is past president of the Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA) and past chairman of the Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium (GCEIC).

    He earned an associate of arts degree from Jones County Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in educational leadership, both from the University of Mississippi.

    Dillon and his wife, MaryAnn (c/o 2000 - PSD alumni coordinator/Petal Middle School soccer coach), have three children: Nate (14), Peyton (12), and Anna Kate (7). ­