Picayune school board honors parents

Published 2:39 pm Thursday, April 15, 2010

Testing coordinator Vera Beech in announcing the schools Parents of the Year on Tuesday at the Picayune school board meeting, said that officials of the top two schools in the state last year, when asked what was the number one program that helped them earn the top ranking, said “parental involvement in the educational process.”
Picayune’s four elementary schools — Nicholson, Roseland Park, South Side and West Side — each named a Parent of the Year. On Tuesday, from those four an overall winner was announced, who will advance to competition at the district and state levels for the State’s Parent of the Year award.
Named Parent of the Year at each school was:
Tessa Crawford for Nicholson, Christopher “Mark” Strain for Roseland Park, Rachel Hunter for South Side and Angelee Leonard for West Side.
Named overall Parent of the Year was Mark Strain of Roseland Park.
“The decision process was very difficult,” Beech told the board.
Board member Duane Wheat urged the parents at the meeting, and all parents, to not only stay involved while their children are young but continue the involvement on up through high school.
“It is a proven fact that parents who maintain contact and involvement with their children all through the educational process, all the way up till they graduate, have a child that is superior in school. I urge all parents to remain involved in their child’s education,” said Wheat.
Roseland Park’s principal, said that Strain goes about helping Roseland Park in a very quiet manner, “but you always know that he has been there and done something to help you.”
“There might be a room in disarray and you wonder how you are going to find time to straighten it out, and you come back to school the next day and everything is clean, stored away and straight, and you know that Mr. Strain has been there,” she told the board.
“And he finds time to help us even though he holds a full-time job at Lockheed Martin in New Orleans,” she said.
Comments from the other superintendents also praised the other selections, too. For instance Patrick Rutherford of Nicholson said that Crawford comes in at least twice a week and works all day in the library helping organize that service. “She is there from the time we open to the time we close,” he said.
Grade results for Picayune’s athletes given to the board by Supt. Dean Shaw on Tuesday shows that some of the brightest kids in school are also standouts on the athletic field.
One reason is that if a student wants to compete in athletics, school policy now enforced requires the student to maintain an acceptable grade average or the student can’t compete. “That is an incentive for the kids,” said Shaw.
First listed is the sport, second the Grade Point Average and third the GPA on a 4.0 scale (4.0 is perfect):
Dance, 91.4, 4.0; Boy’s Cross Country, 91.195, 4.0; Cheer, 90.720, 4.0; Baseball, 90.260, 4.0; Fast Pitch (Girls), 90.100, 4.0; Boy’s Soccer, 90.000, 4.0; Theatre Production, 89.624, 4.0; Tennis, 89.310, 3.9; Band, 88.220, 3.8; Swim, 87.860, 3.8; Girls’ Soccer, 87.000, 3.7; Football, 86.750, 3.7; Show Choir, 86.232, 3.6; ROTC, 85.774, 3.6; Girls’ Basketball, 85.400, 3.5; Boys’ Basketball, 85.000, 3.4; Golf, 84.676, 3.5.
The board also recognized the regional science fair winners:
— At Nicholson Elementary School: Jeremy Thorman, 1st Place, Botany Class II; Joshua Snider, 6th Place, Chemistry Class I; Hayley Watkins, 3rd Place, Earth, Space and Environmental Science Class II; Allyson Whatley, 4h Place, Microbiology Class II; Kolby Balch, 5th Place, Physics Class I; Christopher Larson, 4th Place, Physics Class II; Walker Hendrix, 3rd Place, Zoology Class I; and Shelby Parker, 4th Place, Zoology Class I.
— At Picayune Jr. High Brianna Flores, 5th Place, Behavioral and Social Sciences Class III; Matthew Lineske, 6th Place, Earth, Space and Environmental Science Class III; K’Shawn Smith, 5th Place, Physics Class III; Gabrielle LeClercq, 4th Place, Biochemistry Class III; and Emily Whitfield, 3rd Place, Biochemistry Class III.
— At Roseland Park Elementary Jaden Hall, 1st Place, Behavioral Science Class I; Myah Harper, 1st Place, Biochemistry Class I; Gracie Rawls, 1st Place, Botany Class i; Nicole Quinto, 1st Place, Engineering Class I; and Brandon Bourgeois, 3rd Place, Physics Class I.
— At South Side Alli Wilson, 6th Place, Behavioral and Social Sciences Class II.
— At West Side Caroline Whitfield, 6th Place, Microbiology Class II.
The board also acknowledged the donation of two gifts to school programs. The Fabric of America Fund, a program funded by BP America, Inc., donated $300 to the Lady Tide Fastpitch Softball program. The school program was recommended to BP’s program by a BP employee who lives in Picayune, Charles L. Crawford.
Also three Kodak M380 Digital Cameras, valued at $179.99 each and three HP4GB cards valued at $21.99 each were given by DonorsChoose.org to Candace Odom in support of her classroom project, “The Super Digital Photo Story.”
In other matters, the board:
— Approved personnel matters covering certified positions, certified re-election, classified and classified re-elections. The board moved two items concerning 2010-11 supplements to an executive session at the end of the open meeting. An executive session is a closed door session that excludes the public and press.
— Approved consent items.
— Approved the receipt of documentation of quality school construction bonds; accepted a bid on the sale of a portable classroom; and reviewed 16th section hunting and fishing leases and mowing contracts.
— Approved the QZAB note retirement.
— Approved the purchase of the boys soccer team uniforms.
— Approved the use of the gym for the Youth Basketball of America tournament April 24 and 25. Teams from all over Mississippi will be coming to participate in the tournament being held here.
— Approved school portrait agreements with Life Touch.
— Approved a fresh fruit and vegetable program grant for Nicholson Elementary.
— Approved an extended school year application for summer 2010 for the special education program.

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