Picayune school board discusses cyber security

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020

During the Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, the Board recognized teachers from within the District for their contributions.

A teacher of the year from each school was chosen and each educator was given a plaque as recognition.

Gina Necaise was nominated as Teacher of the Year from Nicholson Elementary while Chris Wilder was named teacher of the year for Roseland Park Elementary.

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Southside Lower Elementary Teacher of the Year was Susan Lozier and Shayla Goss was named the teacher of the year from Southside Upper Elementary.

Kimberly Balli was named Teacher of the Year for Westside Elementary and at the junior high Maggie Fitts was named Teacher of the Year.

Linda May was named the Teacher of the Year for the high school.

This year’s District Teacher of the Year is Shayla Goss.

Following the recognition of the District’s teachers, the Board moved through the meeting’s agenda.

A point of discussion for the Board was cyber security and how prepared Picayune School District is for a cyber attack.

Malware and hacking attempts aim to steal information from school districts, which the hackers then use to demand money in return for not releasing that data.

Hackers target school systems because they usually don’t have the funds or infrastructure in place to combat cyber attacks.

To combat this problem, the Board passed a motion to increase the District’s insurance policy concerning cyber attacks.

The new policy will cover $2 million in damages if the District were to experience an attack and need help with IT work, legal fees, or other costs associated with dealing with this issue.

The Board also discussed the reserve balance of the District, since the balance is currently lower than it has been previously.

Expectations are that the tax revenues coming in the following months will help boost the balance.

The Board also chose a replacement for outgoing varsity Head Football Coach Dodd Lee.

Cody Stogner, who last season served as one of the innovative minds behind the team’s explosive offense, will take over as head coach of the Maroon Tide football program, said Superintendent Dean Shaw.

Lastly, the Board discussed the high school’s improvement in ACT scores.

The District’s most recent average composite score of 19.1 is higher than the state’s average of 18.4.

The next regular meeting of the Board will be Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m.