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Student performance showcases classroom equipment

CAN YOU HEAR ME: Marsha Moore’s first grade students showcased voice amplifier equipment that she uses in her class during a skit performance of “The Little Red Hen” at Monday’s Pearl River County School District board meeting.  Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

CAN YOU HEAR ME: Marsha Moore’s first grade students showcased voice amplifier equipment that she uses in her class during a skit performance of “The Little Red Hen” at Monday’s Pearl River County School District board meeting.
Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

Students from Marsha Moore’s Pearl River Central Lower Elementary class showcased new equipment used by teachers at Monday’s Pearl River County School District board meeting.

During the superintendent’s report, Moore’s first grade class performed a skit called “The Little Red Hen.” The students used voice amplifiers that the lower elementary teachers use on a daily basis in the classroom.

The amplifiers are small and worn around the neck of the teacher or student while they are speaking. PRC Lower Elementary Principal Dr. Sharon Guepet said the amplifiers block out background noise from computers, lights and classroom equipment and amplifies the teacher’s voice for the students to hear.

PRC High School Theatre Director Ginger Schmidt also spoke to the board during the Superintendent’s report about the Blue Masker’s recent accomplishments.

Schmidt said the theatre group won Best Ensemble; Best Director, Ginger Schmidt; Best Supporting Actress, Brittany Ollie’; and Best Supporting Actor, Jeffery Gutierrez at the Mississippi Theatre Association’s State Festival in February.

The group also won Best Production in the Secondary Division of the Youth Theater Festival.

This was Schmidt’s first year as director of the Blue Maskers.

Blue Masker member Angela Picarella, who earned second place in the duet acting category with Adrianna Aponte, said she has gained a lot from being a part of the group and said they are a family.

The board voted four to one to not accept a bid on a 1994 three bedroom, two bathroom mobile home that the school district has been trying to sell for several months.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said the mobile home was in below average condition and was currently located at the Pearl River Central Alternative Education Center campus on Burgetown Road.

This is the second time the board placed the home up for bid and the first time they received one, Lumpkin said.

The bid was for $50. Lumpkin explained the expense to move the home and renovate it would cost an individual a lot of money and is unsure how much the district would be able to get from its sale.

Board member Twilia Crabtree asked the superintendent to look into how much it would cost to move the structure and what profit the board could receive from selling the mobile home for scrap metal.

The meeting opened with public comments from two parents children in the Pearl River Central High School band, Lynn Murray and Lisa Gioia.

Murray and Gioia both asked the board and administration to find a band director that would stay with the school longer than a year.

The current high school band director, Steven Kershaw, will resign at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Both parents also said they didn’t think the band was provided with enough time to practice during their class period and suggested the class be moved to first period, which would give the students more time to practice.

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention and Mr. Lumpkin will look in to it,” said Board President Jeremy Weir.

Also at the meeting, the board approved:

—   A request for assistance to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors for labor and equipment to the Pearl River County School District Central Office parking lot. Lumpkin said the district would only be responsible for the cost of asphalt, which would be paid for from leftover funds from the high school parking lot pavement project, Lumpkin said.

—   The Pearl River County School District Alternative School’s contract with Poplarville School District for the 2014-15 school year.

The board then went into executive session to discuss student matters, which aren’t public record, before adjourning until May 5.