PRC School Superintendent appointed to state committee

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pearl River County School District Superintendent Dennis Penton has been appointed to the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation, according to a press release from the Mississippi Department of Education.

Penton said he was recommended for the position by Dr. Hank Bounds, State Superintendent of Education.

“The appointment is made through the Department of Education, which makes the recommendation to the state Board of Education,” Penton said.

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Penton said the commission makes recommendations to the Board of Education on all accreditation issues.

“The purpose of the commission is to evaluate accreditation levels of schools in the state and approve them for submission to the Board of Education annually,” Penton said. “The commission is also charged with evaluating irregularities in accreditation standards across districts. If there is a violation, the commission evaluates the district’s plan of action for appropriateness.”

Penton said an example of the commission in action is the release of the school rankings earlier this year.

“Those school rankings were based on recommendations by the commission, based on certain accreditation criteria,” Penton said.

According to an e-mail from Caron Blanton, director of Communications for Department of Education, an individual’s regular term on the commission is four years, and each member is eligible to serve two full consecutive terms. If an individual is appointed to fulfill an unexpired term, that member is eligible for appointment for his or her own term of office.

According to Blanton’s email, Penton has been appointed to fulfill an unexpired term which will end in 2009. When this term is completed, he will be eligible for his first full-term appointment for the years 2009-2013.

The commission is composed of 15 members, with three representatives from each of the five Congressional Districts. At any given time the group is composed of two classroom teachers, two school principals, two school district superintendents, two local school board members and seven members not active in the educational field.

When asked how he felt about the appointment, Penton said, “I am pleased to have been appointed and I intend to serve on the state level to the best of my ability. I hope to help improve education across the state as well as on the local level.”