School board recognizes band director, band

Published 2:18 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picayune band director Timothy Garrett finally had something to brag about, and the bragging came long before he had expected.

Garrett told the board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District that the band recently rated superior at a Gulf Coast band contest. Last year the band wasn’t prepared for the contest.

“This is something we thought would take five years,” he admitted to the board about the superior rating.

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Garrett said the band started practicing in July, having to battle heat and rain to get in practices that began in the morning and went on until night fall.

“They have a sense of pride in what they’re doing” now, he said of the band’s members. “They’ve come so far, and they are to be commended.”

Garrett said it may be another year or two before the band grows very much larger, but he now has 70 members in his 6th grade program that will move on into the band over the next couple of years.

Garrett acknowledged to the board that some of the board members had approached him out in the public and discussed the possibility of his coming before the board in executive session to discuss what is working with the band and what is not. None of the board members mentioned during the meeting when they would like to see him in an executive session.

Serina Gray of the Touchdown Club also came before the board to thank board members for renovations done to the concession stands at the stadium and hand delivered a letter to the board from the club after reading it to the members.

In the letter, the club said that on Aug. 11 it had come before the board to ask for the renovations and that the club was happy and surprised when they were told by Principal Kent Kirkland that they could begin using the renovated facilities on Sept. 11.

The club had expected it to take a year for the work to be done.

Board member Harvey Miller thanked the Touchdown Club for its support of the Maroon Tide by helping buy both equipment and letter jackets for the team.

During its business session, the board approved drafting a lease with the Greater Picayune Arts Council to use the Bertie Rouse building. GPAC is seeking a grant for $50,000 to match a portion of a grant the district has remaining to do work on the building and GPAC wants a 10-year lease.

In other matters, the board:

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved consent items, including a list of donations from Gregory Shaw; The First bank; Jacobs Technology; Heritage Plastics; Carter’s Appliance; Target and the Knights of Columbus.

— Approved writing off old outstanding warrants.

— Approved applying for ARRA funds.

— Approved a payment of $60,121.05 to the architectural firm Dale-Bailey.

— Approved requesting an extension on the remaining $86,000 of an Arts Commission grant.

— Approved a memorandum of agreement for the AmeriCorps Teacher Assistant program.

— Approved policy and policy manual revisions.

— Adjourned.