Susan Hunt dedicates her life every day to making Biloxi a better place, whether through being a career educator, or working with Biloxi Excel By 5 or helping spark an interest in the colorful traditions of Mardi Gras, and now the city and Biloxi Lions Club have taken note of her dedication.
Hunt was recognized as Biloxi’s Outstanding Citizen during a Biloxi Lions Club luncheon Wednesday at the Biloxi Yacht Club. Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, saying Hunt was an “outstanding Outstanding Citizen,” proclaimed it Susan Hunt Day in her honor, and several of Hunt’s friends and former students commented on the impact she has made on their lives.
Hunt, a graduate of the Mississippi University for Women with masters and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education, began her Biloxi career in 1978 as a principal at Gorenflo Elementary. She later served as principal at Michel Middle School, as the district’s drug-free coordinator and outreach coordinator, as a parent liaison, and today leads the community’s initiative Biloxi Excel By 5 as certification manager. Biloxi Excel By 5 helps parents prepare their children for the classroom environment.
During her career, Hunt also served as the city’s director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Human Services, and as the executive director of the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mardi Gras is a big part of Hunt’s life. Her father, the late Walter Kenner “Skeet”¯ Hunt, was a longtime Captain of Carnival in Biloxi, and she carries on that tradition as a volunteer with Gulf Coast Carnival Association. She and her sister Martha Hunt Tripp coordinate the “shoe box float” contest for children each year. She also helps with the annual Children’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade, an event her mother, the late Ruth Huls Hunt, launched years ago.
Hunt is a graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast, where she served as a program chair and on the board of directors; a graduate of Leadership Mississippi, and is on the board of several civic groups and educational foundations, including serving as the chair of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Board of Trustees.
Hunt has been recognized many times over the years: The March of Dimes gave her a “Spotlight on Success” award, the city named her its “Educator of the Year” in 2013, and the Coast Chamber’s Young Professionals declared her “Forever Young.”