By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District heard from a number of teachers Tuesday about the accomplishments of their students.
Some of the accomplishments entailed participating in front of a panel of judges where their vocal talents were put on display, while others achieved in academic excellence by placing high in the State Science Fair or on a statewide test.
South Side Elementary teacher Earl Fox spoke to the board about several students who participated in a competition in Gautier where each student had to demonstrate their vocal prowess, including matching pitch with a piano and conducting melody retention.
After their performance, the best participants were selected to participate in the Elementary Honor Choir held in Hattiesburg a couple of weeks ago, Fox said. The students who did well include Mattie Ballard-Millet, Jonathan Arcement and Ashley Roe. Fox said the students sang in other languages, including Latin and were treated to a unique experience.
“It’s like a once in a lifetime experience,” Fox said.
Two students from Roseland Park also did well in the Honor Choir, Jayden Hall and Kyra Jones.
Several students from South Side Elementary’s gifted program competed in testing, for which the students prepared on their own time. South Side teacher Susan Spiers said the event was the Academic Competition for Excellence held at St. Stanislaus where 36 schools from 6 counties sent 340 of their best students to complete on an hour-long written test.
Two of the 11 students who participated from South Side Elementary won in the event, Matthew Nix in 6th grade Math, an Kayla Sampson in 5th grade English, Spiers said.
On the Science Fair end of accomplishments, 13 students competed in regional competition, and of those, four went on to compete in the State Science Fair. Of those, one placed first in the category of Botany, Aaron Dusang.
Dusang presented his experiment to the board, which consisted of a motorized wheel designed to perform one revolution every four minutes. Dusang, using bean plants, used the wheel to show how abnormal gravity affects the growth of plants. Under normal conditions, the root will grow towards gravity, while the shoots grow away from gravity. By growing the beans on the wheel Dusang hoped to show how abnormal gravity would affect the bean’s growth. In Dusang’s experiment, the roots grew towards the center of the wheel, while the shoots grew away from the center.
Other participants in the regional fair included Nicole Hartwell who placed fourth in Physics and received the Junior Navy Award, Seth Relayson received the Junior Navy Award with no category listed, Patricia Aldana placed fifth in Botany, Kerrington McCurrnin placed second in Engineering Computers and Math, Sophie Griffiths placed fourth in Biochemistry, Hannah Purvis placed third in Medicine and Health and Courtney Scarborough who placed fourth in Engineering Computers and Math.
On the state level Dusang placed first in Botany, Sarah Blackwell placed second in Chemistry and Annika Sanders placed second in Botany. Catherine Hardouin also participated in the state competition, but her category also was not listed.
As some of the parents left the board room after the presentation, they asked the board to keep arts and sciences in mind when forming future budgets, to avoid cuts in those areas.