Picayune School District Board Meeting: Henry Reyes & John Cockrell Recognized for Heroism & Excellence

Published 1:26 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

During the Picayune School District’s regular board meeting, PJH student Henry Rayes and PMHS Band Director John Cockrell were recognized by the Board.

Seventh grader Henry Reyes was recognized by PJH Principle General Breland for Reyes’s heroism. During lunch hours at the PJH cafeteria, staff members noticed a student pale in the face was choking on food. Before staff could even react, Reys spurred into action and processed to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the choking student.

“Pepperoni canzone, full of cheese, just like the movies went flying through the air,” witnessed Breland.

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Then Breland said the boy turned to Henry and said, “Thank you, Henry, you saved my life.”

Henry’s quick thinking and actions possibly saved a young man’s life. When asked how did Henry learn to do the Heimlich maneuver, he said his mom used to be a doctor and she had taught him.

Followed, the next recognition was for one of the best band directors in the state of Mississippi, John Cockrell. Cockrell has been teaching music for 14 years and 12 of these years at PMHS. This year he was presented by the nationwide School Band and Orchestra Magazine (SBO) as one of the top 50 brand directors in the nation. Hee’s marked as the best in Mississippi.

Asked by SBO, What is your proudest moment as an educator? Cockrell’s response was,

“My proudest moment is not one particular time, but it is when you see the “light bulb” moment with a student. Students don’t always arrive at the comprehension of new material at the same time. When you see students finally get the new material after they have strived to achieve it, that is what makes me proud.”

Read more on Cockrell’s article at sbomagazine.com/the-23rd-50-directors-who-make-a-difference-report/.

There will be a Community Concert with a combination of the PRCC Jazz band and the Picayune Jazz band. This will be on Friday, April, 28 at the Crosby Commons.

In other businesses, the Board elected their Board of office members.

Zack Smith- President.

Josh Robertson, Vice Chair

Jerel Myers – Secretary

Jane Sweet – 2nd Secretary.

The Board also approved considering its 2023 Summer Feeding program, applying for the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation Grant, accepting the 2022/2023 Early Head Start CCP Grant, and an interest-free, Educational Facilities Revolving Loan.