PRC school board re-elects officers

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Pearl River County School Board re-elected its officers for another term at its meeting Monday night.

Margie Creel continues as president, Michelle Boyd as vice president and Sherwin Taylor as secretary.

Superintendent Dennis Penton presented a plaque of recognition to the school board for achieving 105 hours of training in conducting school board business. The plaque was from the Mississippi School Board Association.

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He said the public meeting last Thursday to discuss building a new elementary school went well and was well attended. He said good questions were raised at the meeting and he was in the process of gathering information to answer the questions.

He recommended holding another public meeting with the date for the meeting to be set at the next school board meeting on April 10. Penton said he would present the information gathered and answer the questions raised at the earlier meeting. He said it would take that long to gather the information needed to answer the questions.

The superintendent said the handbook committee was nearing completion of the handbook for the 2007-2008 school year. The board should receive a preliminary copy for review soon.

Under consideration by the board was the purchase of buses for 2007-2008 school year, along with installation of air conditioning as an upgrade to 27 buses.

Each new bus will cost $73,390. Every year the board has been purchasing three to four new buses as replacements and to keep up with the growth. Last year four were purchased. New buses have been an item in the budget every year.

The board approved the purchase of four new buses with air conditioning and approved the installation of air conditioning on the district’s 27 other buses other for a total of 31 air-conditioned buses.

Two parcels of 16th section land were reclassified from farm/residential to forest and one parcel, 1.43 acres, was approved for commercial lease by Vuong Duc Nguyen.

The cheerleading team selection procedure was changed from outside judging to the selection by Coach Mandi Mitchell and her assistants. Athletic Dirctor Doug Smith advocated the procedure because cheerleading has become so competitive.

“I feel like my qualifications are stronger than any judge you could bring in. I have taught cheerleading in college and judged cheerleading all over Mississippi and Louisiana. Not only is it competitive, but there are so many holds that require great athletic ability. I work with these girls every day and I know what their limits are … and I know the holes that need to be filled.”

“It’s like several people sitting in the stands watching spring practice then going down to the coach and saying, ‘Okay, these are the guys on your team.’ It can’t work that way,” Smith said.

The motion to keep the judges as a selection committee failed two for and three against. The motion to allow Coach Mitchell to select the team passed with three voting for the motion — Margie Creel, Michelle Boyd and Billy Spence — and two against — Byron Stockstill and Sherwin Taylor. Creel cast the deciding vote both times.

Pearl River County School District will provide $7,850 in in-kind costs for five automated external defibrillators that it received through a Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation grant.