Picayune school board honors Parents of the Year

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PARENTS OF THE YEAR: From left are Picayune School District’s Parents of the Year, Melissa Heath, Erin Velasquez, Tia Schubert and Kim Ramsay. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

PARENTS OF THE YEAR: From left are Picayune School District’s Parents of the Year, Melissa Heath, Erin Velasquez, Tia Schubert and Kim Ramsay.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

School board members of the Picayune School District took a moment to hear from principals about their selections for Parent of the Year.

During Tuesday’s meeting each principal described the things that made their selection worthy of the title.

Nicholson Elementary Principal Patrick Rutherford chose Chantelle Nguyen as his Teacher of the year. She was described as a workaholic that has had four children attend the school. In spite of her busy schedule, she’s helped with a number of events, including movie night. 

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Picayune Junior High Principal James Williams chose Debbie Stewart as his Parent of the Year. Williams said Stewart found that while she was involved with the school her daughter excelled in class.

Kim Ramsay was chosen as Parent of the Year for Picayune Memorial High School. Principal Kent Kirkland said she has been a devoted parent who works with the booster clubs and helps organize banquets.

Vicki Vaugh, principal of Roseland Park Elementary, chose 

Erin Velasquez, who is always there to help no matter the need. Vaughn said Velasquez loves all the children at the school as though they are her own.

South Side Upper Principal Debbie Smith chose Brandi Piazzo as her Parent of the Year. Piazzo was described as a hard working parent that is still involved with the school’s Parent Teacher Organization even though all of her children now attend high school. Her work will soon enable the school to purchase a new marquee sign. 

Christie Pinero, principal of South Side Lower Elementary, chose Tia Schubert as her Parent of the Year because of her devotion to the school’s PTO and help with various fundraising events.

West Side Elementary Principal Mary Williams chose Melissa Heath as her Teacher of the Year. Heath was described as a parent willing to help with any of the school’s needs, whether it be a fundraiser, purchasing gowns for the kindergarteners, or organizing a visit from Santa Claus.

Superintendent Dean Shaw then announced the district’s Parent of the Year, Debbie Stewart, who was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting. Shaw said as a token of the district’s appreciation a luncheon at a local restaurant will be scheduled to honor all of the parents at a later date.

In other matters the board approved a motion to approve a $1,000 increase in teacher salaries in the coming year, which is required in a state mandate. 

The board also approved sending teachers from the Early Head Start Program to Chicago to receive training. Early Head Start Director Dr. Pamela Thomas said all training for her staff is being paid for through $157,000 worth of grant funding as the department implements expansion of their instruction into day cares.

The board also approved a motion to apply for the fresh fruit and vegetable program grant through the USDA. Shaw said the program is currently ongoing at Nicholson Elementary, where children are served fresh fruit and vegetables as a snack three times a week. The district would like to implement the program at all of the elementary schools.

The next school board meeting will be on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the district office.