PRC school board recognizes Nationally Certified teacher

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The school board for the Pearl River County School District at it’s meeting last night recognized Stacy Baudoin for receiving her Master Teacher Certificate from the State Department of Education. She has taught eighth grade English for the past three years.

Bank Plus sponsored her and she will receive a $6,000 per year raise for the next 10 years. She received a 14 karat gold apple along with the certificate.

“This is not just a process of completion, Ms. Baudoin has worked very hard through this rigorous program and we are very proud of her and all our teachers who achieve this,” said Superintendent Dennis Penton.

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During the Superintendent’s report Alan Lumpkin, the high school basketball coach, requested the board to allow him, the assistant coaches and some of the high school basketball team members to step in to help the Biddy Basketball league because he was told Monday morning that the League had decided to cancel its season because there was not enough supervision.

The board approved the motion to grant Lumpkin’s request.

There will be a flyer going out and one week for the children to sign up for the three-on-three tournament call March Madness, Lumpkin said. This will be an added activity to the basketball program and it will be opened up for girls, as well. Supervision and security will be there, but the details still need to be worked out, he said.

Don Criswell, head of campus police, congratulated the six students who were invited to Mississippi State University’s Security Council. They participated with students from approximately 20 other schools, which was designed to help students have an active involvement and understanding of national and world conflicts and problems. The six students were Sarah Sable, Amanda Olive, John Criswell, Garrett Penton, David Sampson and Lindsey Huonsinger. The team won the outstanding Delegation award.

Criswell proposed that during the next school year the parking lot be made available only for seniors and juniors who drive. Since there are only 244 parking spaces that must be shared among students, faculty and staff, parking has become a critical problem. This year there are 168 seniors, 107 juniors and 35 sophomores who drive to school. Since not every student who has a permit is there every day, parking is not yet a problem, however “if everyone did show up one day, we would not have a parking space for every car there,” Criswell said.

Next year, 176 seniors and 231 juniors potentially will need a parking space. Right now the priority parking is given to those who have jobs, who leave early and those students participating in sports.

“At Christmas there were 20 students who got their driver’s licenses and a car and there is no place to put them,” Criswell said.

“We looked for more safe parking and there are no areas for that. Thirty-five students park in the back, but those are early dismissal students. Teachers are having to park in undesirable areas to accommodate student drivers. Employees have given up premium places just to accommodate students,” Penton said.

No decision was made at the meeting, but the problem will be studied.

Later in the meeting, Criswell requested the board consider an alliance with the Picayune Canine Police Unit for two visits a month and to be available anytime any school official thinks it necessary to call in a canine unit. In return, Chief Jim Luke requested the PRC School Board donate a $600 canine automatic door opener to the Picayune Police Department. The board approved the requests.

Other business included a motion to allow a Riser Medical Group to study the problem of head lice. Parents will be notified before the study begins.

Ben Burge, the band director at the high school, said the dance team would like to attend a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader clinic. Fundraisers are now underway to help pay for the trip. He also told the board that the marching band has been invited to march in the Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago next school year.

The board approved both trips.

Yvette Burrows told the board that the district needs a performing arts facility for a place for the drama team to practice and perform. The Band Hall was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the multipurpose building is consistently full.

“Our art students are very talented and have won many awards and something needs to be done. These students feel like they are unimportant and like they are being pushed aside,” Burrows said.

The students have received thousands of dollars in scholarship money, she said.

Caleb Kirkland, a drama student and Troop President of the Blue Maskers, thanked the board for its support of their efforts, then mentioned the multipurpose facility in Pass Christian. He said the facility cost $2.2 million to build before Katrina. Students in the drama program have received a combined total of More than $20,000 in scholarships. He also spoke of the character building and the looks of pride of accomplishment the students get from the drama program and the awards they win.

Penton said he and Loren Harris, principal at the high school, have an appointment later this month to visit the complex in Pass Christian.

“The Board is committed to provide a space for you. It takes time to develop these plans. We want this program to continue and we feel it is a most excellent program. We’re waiting on insurance right now,” said Margie Creel, school board president.

In other business, the Board:

— Did not approve the National School Boards Association dues of $3,700 because the Board did not receive any benefit from membership and could go to the conferences without being a member.

— Approved reserving an additional $2 million for capital improvements, leaving $3.5 million in reserves. The funds will be put toward more classrooms and repairs. The Board is still waiting on insurance monies and may have to start remediation to get the money.

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved the use of the gymnasium three nights over the Mardi Gras holidays by Habitat for Humanity and the use of a school bus for transportation with Leonard Sones monitoring and driving the bus. Habitat for Humanities will sign a waiver.

— Approved a grant of $500 from Exxon Mobile to Pearl River Central High School.