Tide band is headed to Hawaii — in 2010

Published 11:42 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Picayune Memorial High School’s Pride of the Tide band is flying off to Hawaii — inin June of 2010, and if band members can raise at least $80,000 to pay for the trip.

The school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District approved the trip at its meeting last night after Band Boosters president Billy Walley and band director Tim Garrett made the proposal.

Garrett said that the band had been to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., many times in the past and he wanted to carry the students to some place they may not have the opportunity to go otherwise.

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“This is a once in a lifetime trip for many of them,” Garrett said, after he and Walley strung out their proposal, waiting to near its end to reveal the destination they had in mind.

The band director and the booster club president said they also wanted to make it more educational than previous trips had been, and Garrett suggested that the band would be performing in concert, rather than as a marching band, which is how it performed on its trips to Disney World.

Prior to the proposal by Walley and Garrett, band members had been recognized by the board for their recent individual accomplishments at clinics.

Garrett said the band, with just more than 40 members, is in the process of rebuilding. It had shrunk considerably during a couple of years of chaos following the retirement of long-time band director Jerry Cumberland who had built the band into powerhouse in the Gulf Coast region and carried it on several trips to Disney World.

The school board also recognized the Fast ForWord laboratory coaches at Nicholson Elementary School — Lynn Frierson and Karen Rollings — and Picayune Junior High School — Tina Moody and Patty Gasper — for awards they received at a national meeting on the computer-assisted reading program. The Picayune district was recognized at the meeting as the third best district in the nation at using the program.

Students at both schools, and at schools throughout the district, have greatly improved their reading levels using the program. The coaches at the junior high told of individual students who have advanced their reading level by more than four or five years. The coaches also said the difference between students who have gone through the Fast ForWord program and those who haven’t is easily recognizable.

The district now has the program on all district campuses and every student in the district goes through the computer-assisted reading program.

The board also accepted the donation of a Mercury automobile from Dub Herring to the district’s driver’s education program and the donations of a $1,000 scholarship in the name of Alice Augusta Smith from Huey Stockstill, Inc. to a PMHS senior who plans to major in some form of the arts in college; $22.22 from Ohiopyle Prints Inc. in Ohiopyle, Penn., to PMHS, and $100 from Coleman Grau to district maintenance.

In other matters, the board:

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved consent items, including the budget, financial statement, payroll, claims dockets, obsolete items and out-of-state travel requests.

— Approved cleaning up a 16th section home site where a house fire had occurred.

— Approved the revision of staff health and hygiene operating procedures for Early Head Start.

— Approved on a 3-1 vote to install a bus canopy at West Side Elementary. Board president Ginny Dodd was absent because of family health reasons and member Tony Smith voted against it because he said it wasn’t budgeted.

— Approved waiving the auditorium rental fee for Goodyear Baptist Church.

— Approved a resolution to conduct an auction of old buses.

— Approved bus turnarounds.

— Went into executive session on a student matter.