Bond work and student achievement

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 13, 2019

Members of the Board of Trustees for the Pearl River County School District took care of some routine matters and heard about the things going on in the District.

Student Body Representative Gage McClinton addressed the Board concerning updates at each campus. After running through the schedule of past and upcoming events, he also spoke about his participation at the Kiwanis Club of Picayune’s Special Olympics event, where he assisted a second grader with autism. While speaking with the child’s mother, she told McClinton that she was glad her child attended a school with such a “great special education department.”

Board President Elaine Voss also took a moment to thank McClinton for his effective organization of a successful candidate forum held over the weekend.

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Finance Director TJ Burleson also informed the Board that half of the ordered safety locking devices are now installed on classroom doors at the Carriere Campus. The remaining devices are expected to arrive after the Easter break, and will be installed shortly thereafter. He said the safety devices allow the teachers to lock the doors to the classroom and include a metal cover for the glass windows in order to protect people during an active shooter event.

Research is being conducted to identify safety devices for the doors at the McNeill campus.

Burleson also informed the Board that a link has been added to the District’s website that contains all of the information concerning the bond, as requested by the Board during a previous meeting. The information was added so the public can access it easily.

As part of that bond, work is underway at the McNeill campus. Burleson said the crews have started work on storm drainage remediation in the courtyard, and poured the foundation for the administrative building.

The Board also heard from Pearl River Central High School student Conner Ryder, who is also a member of the school’s NJROTC. Through his participation in that program, he was offered three scholarships, one at the University of Notre Dame worth more than $200,000. Ryder said he turned that scholarship offer down to accept one from the United States Merchant Marine Academy program worth $260,000.

He gave credit for that achievement to the District, and his father, Col. Todd Ryder, who pushed him to join.