Valerie Barton
Valerie Barton
Rebecca Tullos
Rebecca Tullos

Current Hinds Community College employees Valerie Barton and Rebecca Tullos have changed positions at the Rankin Campus.

Barton, formerly the director of the Gateway to College program, is replacing Eric Smith as the director of the Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center on the Rankin Campus, the vocational center for high school students. Tullos, who was the resource specialist in the Gateway program, is replacing Barton as director.

Gateway to College, which began at Hinds in fall 2012, is a Mississippi Works Partnership between Hinds Community College and Rankin County and Pearl schools. The program enrolls high school students in danger of not graduating and allows them to finish high school at the college’s Rankin Campus while also earning college credits. At the Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center, high school students can take a variety of vocational courses and get a head start on preparing for a career or more post-secondary training.

“Valerie Barton brings much to the table as the new director for our secondary Career and Technical programs,” said Dr. Sue Powell, vice president for the Rankin Campus.

“Her background and education have prepared her well for the position. She demonstrated strong abilities for stimulating student success as the first Gateway to College director. I think she will continue ‘putting students first,’ which has been a tradition of the Pearl-Rankin Career Technical Center since its beginning in 1983.”

Barton was the founding director of the Gateway program in 2012. She has a Bachelor of Science in management and marketing from Union University, a master of education degree in guidance and counseling from Mississippi and is licensed as a K-12 administrator.

“I am thrilled to continue working with students from the Rankin County and Pearl school districts,” Barton said. “Hinds Community College offers opportunities for high school students to enroll in programs that, upon completion, allow students to easily transition into Career and Technical Education programs of study at the postsecondary level. It’s exciting to help prepare students to become productive citizens for tomorrow’s workforce.”

Tullos has an associate of arts degree from Hinds and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Belhaven University.

“We are very fortunate that Rebecca Tullos has been working with the Gateway to College program for the past two years,” Powell said. “She knows the Gateway program and the characteristics of the students well. She also knows how to marshal the necessary resources and services the students need to help them successfully graduate with a high school diploma and college credit.”

Tullos has been with the Gateway program since 2012.

During the 20 years she taught middle school, “I developed a passion for helping students overcome external and academic challenges that were hindering their success,” she said.  “The nurturing, family-like support system that Gateway to College provides fosters a positive self-concept and attitude toward school. … .   I am looking forward to sharing much more success with my staff and students through this incredible partnership Hinds Community College has with the Rankin County and Pearl school districts.”

For more information about the Rankin Campus or either of the two high school programs, see the Hinds website at or

Categories: News