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PRC School Board recognizes teachers

The Pearl River County School District’s Board of Trustees met for its monthly meeting Thursday evening and recognized the district’s teachers of the year.

After approving the Board minutes from last month’s meeting, and approving the docket, Superintendent Alan Lumpkin came before the Board to present the 2020-2021 teachers of the year.

The Elementary School’s Teacher Of The Year was Amanda McDaniel.

In a nomination written for McDaniel, Lumpkin said, “She is very encouraging to her students and creates wonderful learning opportunities to increase their engagement.”

Michelle Rafach was named the middle school’s teacher of the year.

In a nomination written for Rafach, Lumpkin said, “She is committed to continual learning to better herself, in order to further impact her students. Whether it be her extensive knowledge and aptitude for technology, or her planning for success in the classroom, she has gone above and beyond to ensure her students are connected to one another…not only in class, but to others around the globe. I am grateful to know Mrs. Rafach and work alongside her. PRCMS is a better place because she is here.”

The Endeavor School’s teacher of the year was LaShebra Christopher.

In a nomination written for Christopher, Lumpkin said, “She is a valuable asset to our Endeavor Team. She is always there when you need her, no matter what you need. She always bends over backwards to ensure our students get what they need.”

The District teacher of the year and Pearl River Central High School teacher of the year was Kim Cufr.

In a nomination written for Cufr, Lumpkin said, “She’s dedicated, passionate and committed to the success of others. Ms. Cufr goes above and beyond for her students. Ms. Cufr is an amazing educator who will do whatever it takes to get a concept across to her students.”

After all of the teachers had been recognized, Board President Elaine Voss thanked the teachers for their hard work.

“I can’t thank the teachers enough. This is such a perfect time for this because you go above and beyond. There’s something (Superintendent Alan) Lumpkin says, ‘Don’t ever make me choose between an adult and a child because the child will always be my priority.’ And you have chosen that over your own health and safety at times during this horrendous, all odds against you environment. We’re appreciative, grateful and thankful for you,” Voss said.

In other business, there was some discussion regarding the 2021-2022 PRCMS and PRCHS cheer constitutions.

District I Representative Christian Burge asked for clarification regarding the purchase and return of equipment and uniforms.

After discussion, it was decided to add specific verbiage regarding the return of cheer equipment purchased by the school, while also changing verbiage to clarify how qualified judges will be selected for competitive events.

The Board also approved to hire Tamara Brown as a parent liaison through the usage of Title I funds.

After Burge asked of the job’s purpose and what funds would be used, Lumpkin explained that Brown, while doing clerical work for the district to help students, will also call parents whose children are either not showing up for in-person classes, or not completing their online assignments if they’ve chosen the virtual learning route.

Title 1 funds are allocated to school districts to supplement services already provided. The district is required to spend the money, so using it to pay for a salary gives the district that option.

The Board also went into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

The Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be March 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Endeavor School chapel.