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DeSoto County Schools

DeSoto Digest Newsletter May 2019

New Principal Positions Approved by the DeSoto County Board of Education

     The DeSoto County School Board approved four new principals at the May 2nd board meeting.  They will assume their new positions on July 1st.

     ■ Cynthia Dixon has been named principal at Greenbrook Elementary School. She is currently the assistant principal of Oak Grove Central Elementary School. She has also served as an assistant principal at Lewisburg Primary School and Shadow Oaks Elementary School.  She replaces MeLynda Crockett who is retiring this summer.

     ■Kristy Dunning will become the principal at Horn Lake Elementary School. She is currently an assistant principal at Southaven Intermediate School.  She replaces Cynthia Dunning who is retiring.

     ■Kris Perkins has been selected as principal of Olive Branch Middle School.  He is currently an assistant principal at Horn Lake High School.  He replaces Beth Turner who is moving to the Career Technical Center—East to serve as Principal/Vocational Education Coordinator for the 2019-2020 school year.

     ■Conell Phillips will assume the reins of Lake Cormorant High School as principal. He is an assistant principal at Southaven High School. He is replacing Rhonda Guice who is retiring.

     “We are very fortunate in DeSoto County to have such a qualified pool of administrative candidates within our own school district,” said Supt. Cory Uselton.  “We had 30 of our DeSoto County Schools assistant principals apply for these four principal positions, and the principal interview committee did an outstanding job of evaluating all of the applicants.”

     “The results of the interviews were very encouraging.  Not only will we have outstanding new principals in place for next school year, we also have an amazing group of future principals within the ranks of our current assistant principals.  I am very excited about our talent pool of administrators,” he added.

     Supt. Uselton recognized the hard work and accomplishments of the retiring principals at the board meeting.

     ”We are very appreciative of MeLynda Crockett, Cynthia Dunning, Rhonda Guice, and Phillip Sublett, and we wish them best in retirement,” he said. 

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CHHS State Track Champs

Center Hill High School’s track team won several MHSAA 5A state championships. The individual and team winners were recognized by the School Board. Supt. Cory Uselton presented certificates of achievement.  Lee Sanders won Pole Vault (boys) and Kaylen Johnson won 100m Dash (girls).  The 4x200m Relay (girls) state champions were Dallis Bryant, Faith Williams and Kyla Johnson. The track coaches are JJ Downs and Bruce Hall.

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Center Hill’s Coleman Wins State Championship

For the second year in a row, Mikaila Coleman, a junior at Center Hill High School, won a state championship at the MHSAA 5A individual tennis competition in Oxford.  Her accomplishments were recognized by the DCS Board of Education. From left, Supt. Cory Uselton, Mikaila Coleman, Tennis Coach Gayla Arvin, and Asst. Principal Zack Sims.

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DeSoto Central Girls Win State Championship…Again

      For the second year in a row, DeSoto Central Lady Jags earned the MHSAA 6A fastpitch softball state championship. The girls and Coach Phyllis Hicks were recognized by the Board of Education.

      “It was an intense game and it was a great championship series,” Coach Hicks said.  “I am proud of the way my girls played,” she said.  “They were down 4-0 but came back fighting, so I’m really proud of them.”

     The final score was a 6-4 victory over the Brandon Lady Bulldogs.  The championship game was played at Mississippi State University.

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High Jump State Champion (Girls)

   Lanie Moss was recognized by the School Board for winning the MHSAA 5A state title in High Jump (Girls).  She attends Lewisburg High School.  From left, Supt. Cory Uselton, LHS Girls’ Track Coach Markisha Parker, Lanie Moss, and LHS Principal Chris Fleming.

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SHS Wins State in Shot Put (Girls)

Keshuna Byrd was recognized by the Board of Education for winning the 6A MHSAA Shot Put (Girls). Byrd attends Southaven High School.  From left, Supt. Cory Uselton, Keshuna Byrd,  Girls’ Track Coach Amy McCrory, and SHS Principal Shane Jones.

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HHS 6A Track State Champions

The Hernando High School’s Girls Track Team set new state records in the MHSAA 6A State Championship Track Meet.  HHS had an individual state winner (Katelyn Cartwright in the 800m run & 1600m run), and a team winner in the 4x800m Relay (Girls).  The Board of Education presented each girl with certificates of achievement.  From left, Supt. Cory Uselton, Katelyn Cartwright, Emma Claire Haley, Jessica Cartwright, Janai Malone,  HHS Track Coach Logan Clark, and HHS Principal Duane Case.

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DeSoto Central Wins 2019 MHSAA Class 6A Baseball Championship

DeSoto Central Jaguars are back-to-back state champions in 6A baseball. This is the third state championship in the program's history. Mark Monoghan is the head coach for the Jags.

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JROTC Unit Wins State for the 3rd Time in Physical Fitness

For three years in a row, the JROTC Marine Corps at Lake Cormorant High School has won the state championship in physical fitness. LtCol G. M. Johnston and SgtMaj Thomas Herman lead the unit.  At the state competition, there were 84 groups competing.  The DeSoto County Board of Education recognized this group and their principal, Rhonda Guice.

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Vals, Sals, STAR Students, STAR Teachers Recognized

     Each spring, DeSoto County Schools honors the valedictorians, salutatorians, “STAR” students, and “STAR” teachers at each of its eight high schools with a formal celebration of their outstanding academic achievements.

     In 2019, the district recognized the top scholars at the April DCS School Board meeting. The valedictorian is a student who has earned the highest grade point average in his or her graduating class, and the salutatorian has the second highest grade point average. The Students Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Mississippi’s highest achieving high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development. 

Center Hill High School

  • Valedictorian - Mary Lindsey
  • Salutatorian - Abigail Penfield
  • Star Student - Mary Lindsey
  • Star Teacher - Judy Terry

CHHS—Supt. Cory Uselton, Valedictorian Mary Lindsey, and Principal Doug Payne (Not pictured Salutatorian Abigail Penfield).

CHHS—Supt. Uselton, STAR Teacher Judy Terry, STAR Student Mary Lindsey, and Principal Doug Payne.

DeSoto Central High School

  • Val - Brett Baltz
  • Sal - Vivesh Patel
  1. Star Students:
  2. Brett Baltz
  3. John Barch
  4. Jailyn Flie
  5. Wendy Gardner
  6. Dioncia Wofford
  • Star Teachers:
  1. Phyllis Hicks
  2. Leslie Pleasants
  3. April Rucker
  4. Mary Kylie Ruff
  5. Ashley Webb

DCHS—Supt. Uselton, Valedictorian Brett Baltz, Salutatorian Vivesh Patel, and Principal Cliff Johnston.

DCHS-There were 5 STAR Students and 5 STAR Teachers at DeSoto Central High. From left, Supt. Uselton, STAR Student Dioncia Wofford, STAR Student Jailyn Flie, STAR Teacher Phyllis Hicks, STAR Student Brett Baltz, STAR Teacher Ashley Webb, STAR Student John Barch, STAR Teacher Mary Kylie Ruff, STAR Student Wendy Gardner, STAR Teacher Leslie Pleasants, and Principal Cliff Johnston. (Not Pictured STAR Teacher April Rucker.)

Lake Cormorant High School:

  • Val - Jessica Wilson
  • Sal - Diamond Hill
  • Star Student - Dallas Williams
  • Star Teacher - Lisa Hutchinson

LCHS—Supt. Uselton, Valedictorian Jessica Wilson, Salutatorian Diamond Hill, Principal Rhonda Guice.

LCHS—Supt. Uselton, STAR Teacher Lisa Hutchinson, STAR Student Dallas Williams, Principal Rhonda Guice.

Lewisburg High School:

  • Val - Natalie Jeffries, Caleb Owens
  • Sal - Sydney Boone
  • Star Students:
  1. Caleb Owens
  2. Sydney Boone
  • Star Teachers:
  1. Tracy Hunter
  2. Kim Hallmark

LHS—Supt. Cory Uselton, Valedictorians Caleb Owens and Natalie Jeffries, and Principal Chris Fleming. (Not pictured Salutatorian Sydney Boone.)

LHS—Supt. Uselton, STAR Teacher Tracy Hunter, STAR Student Sydney Boone, STAR Student Caleb Owens, STAR Teacher Kim Hallmark, Principal Chris Fleming.

Hernando High School:

  • Val – Grace Owens
  • Sal – Sophie Hirt
  • Star Student – Bailey Terrell
  • Star Teacher – Tonya Floate

HHS—Supt. Uselton, Valedictorian Grace Owens, Salutatorian Sophie Hirt, STAR Student Bailey Terrell, STAR Teacher Tonya Floate, Principal Duane Case.

Horn Lake High School:

  • Val - Isaac Marquez
  • Sal - Madison Burton
  • Star Student - Isaac Marquez
  • Star Teacher - Michael Kinney

HLHS-Supt. Uselton, Salutatorian Madison Burton, Principal Andy Orr. (Not pictured Isaac Marquez.)

Olive Branch High School

  • Val - Brittney Nichole Clayborn
  • Sal - Micaela Lantrese Shields
  • Star Student - Kent Walker Patterson
  • Star Teacher - Jason Gunn

OBHS—Supt. Uselton, Valedictorian Brittney Nichole Clayborn, Salutatorian Micaela Lantrese Shields, and Principal Jacob Stripling.

OBHS—Supt. Uselton, STAR Teacher Jason Gunn, STAR Student Kent Walker Patterson, and Principal Jacob Stripling.

Southaven High School 

  • Val - Ember Suh
  • Sal - Reo Weaver
  • Star Student - Reo Weaver
  • Star Teacher - Selena Baker

SHS—Supt. Uselton, Valedictorian Ember Suh, Salutatorian Reo Weaver, Principal Shane Jones.

SHS—Supt. Uselton, STAR Teacher Selena Baker, STAR Student Reo Weaver, Principal Shane Jones.

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Choices, Choices: Southaven High Senior Awarded Appointments to Two Military Academies

     Southaven High School senior Benjamin Barulli had a tough decision: Cadet or midshipman.

     While most students interested in a career in the armed forces only dream of earning a spot among the 10 percent of applicants who get into one of America's top military academies, Barulli received full-ride appointments to both the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

     Pursuing a career in the armed forces has long been Barulli’s goal, partially because of family tradition.  His father is a graduate of West Point and is now a manager with FedEx.  Last summer, he visited both campuses and had a healthy dose of what life would be like academically and physically.

     “West Point had a church that was a better fit for me,” Barulli said.  “An additional bonus is the Chaplain went to West Point with my Dad and offered my parents a place to stay if I enrolled there.”

     The West Point website states, “Students who are ready to change the world through leadership, vision, and duty to country could find that the United States Military Academy at West Point is their best college choice.”

     Barulli said he will begin basic training at West Point, a school that was established by Thomas Jefferson in 1802, on July 1st. Graduates of this institution include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton, to name a few.

     Why does Barulli think he was accepted at two of the top colleges in America?

     "I had good test scores and grades, but most applicants do.  I think it helped that I am an Eagle Scout, a fourth degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, and have more than 400 hours of community service." said Barulli, who runs Cross Country at SHS  and  teaches Taekwondo, a sport he began when he was four- years-old.

     Barulli is active in school and out, playing the French horn for the SHS band since the 8th grade.  He is a member of the Key Club, Knowledge Bowl, Chess Club, Fellowship of Christian Students, and National Honor Society. Another interesting statistic about Barulli is that he has had perfect attendance since he began Kindergarten at Greenbrook Elementary School.

     “My Mom makes sure I stay healthy and have never missed a day of school,” he said. 

     He said he was proud of the fact that his mother was named the ‘Parent of the Year’ in every school he has attended and was the DeSoto County Schools’ Parent of the Year five years ago.

     When friends and acquaintances find out Ben’s decision, their standard response is that his long, golden hair ‘has to go.” On May 24th, he is donating his hair to “Hair We Share,” a non-profit that makes wigs for cancer patients. He encourages all that he sees to join him at Delta Technical College to also donate hair or make a financial contribution to the organization.

     “Ben has made the grade academically, physically and through leadership,” said Principal Shane Jones. “It was no surprise to me that he got appointments to two service academies.  “He is self-driven and constantly works to help others.”

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Caleb Owens Is Awarded MEC’s Cook Foundation Scholarship

     The brightest students in Mississippi convened in Jackson, MS, for the Mississippi Economic Council’s Education Celebration.  For 54 years, students have been recognized for their academic achievement and ACT scores.

     Caleb Owens, a senior at Lewisburg High School, won the $20,000 Cook Foundation STAR Scholarship through the Mississippi Economic Council.     Each STAR student selects a STAR teacher.  Owens selected Kimberly Hallmark, band director for Lewisburg High. 

      “I want to keep music in my life,” Owens said.  “While math is my passion, music is my form of relaxation.”

     “There were 343 students at the event, 26 who scored a 36 (highest possible score) on their ACT.  We were competing for three major scholarships,” said Owens.  “The largest scholarship was for $24,000 and it was won by a student from Clinton High School.  I won the Mississippi All-STAR scholarship of $20,000, and a student from St. Andrew’s High School won a $16,000 scholarship.    There were seventeen $1,000 scholarships awarded, so six students with a 36 score did not receive a scholarship.”

     Sydney Boone of Lewisburg High and Bailey Terrell of Hernando High were recipients of $1,000 scholarships. 

     “I am grateful to get this sum of money for college,” Owens said.  “This will provide the final piece of the puzzle to fulfill my dream to attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  I can earn a dual degree in engineering and piano performance.  They are a STEM school and have a partnership with Cleveland Institute of Music.”

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HLHS Senior Choir Members Hit High Notes

From left, Horn Lake High seniors Joseph Mullins, Jada Broughton, Aireal Conley, Elexxus Richardson, and Keaveon Beavers received vocal scholarships. Broughton will attend Ole Miss, and the others will join the Mississippi State choral program.

     Tuesday, May 14th was a big day for the choral program at Horn Lake High School.  It was “signing day" for seniors who have been awarded and accepted a collegiate vocal scholarship.  Their choir director is Holly Beck.

      Five students were offered a total of $47,500.00 per year (or $190,000 over 4 years) to be a member of the choirs at the following colleges:

     Jada Broughton - Ole Miss

     Keveon Beavers - MSU

     Aireal Conley - MSU

     Joseph Mullins - MSU

     Elexxus Richardson – MSU

      “It is really neat to see that they are getting all of these opportunities.  Everyone can sing, and that ability and that love can result in some amazing things, as well.  In this case, it is money for school,” said Beck. 

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Hicks Is Nationally Recognized

   DeSoto Central softball coach Phyllis Hicks is recognized by the DeSoto County Board of Education as the MHSAA Sectional and National Federation of State High School Associations’ Coach of the Year.  Hicks is joined (from left) by Supt. Cory Uselton and DCS Director of Athletics Anthony Jenkins.

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School Board Honored

University of Mississippi—DeSoto Center gave DeSoto County Schools the T. P. Vinson Award in recognition of “exemplary service to UM-DeSoto” at their Graduation Celebration. This award recognizes contributions from those outside of the campus who have helped UM-DeSoto grow and prosper in the quality of student services and community outreach.  From left are DCS Supt. Cory Uselton, School Board Members Ann Jolley, Sarah Doss-Thomas, Michele Henley, and Milton Nichols.

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Future Leaders Complete Two Year Program

The 22 Superintendent Youth Leadership Council Seniors with DCS sponsors Anne Goss, Jeff Shands, and Supt. Cory Uselton.

     When 22 seniors walk across the stage to receive their diploma, they will display a blue cord signifying they are members of DeSoto County Schools’ Superintendent’s Youth Leadership Council (SYLC).

     Superintendent Cory Uselton presented these cords at a graduation ceremony, ending a two-year involvement in the program. SYLC is composed of 43 juniors and seniors from each of DeSoto County’s eight high schools. The organization is a privately funded leadership program through DeSoto County Schools.  The Homer Skelton Foundation, Charles McGuffie with the Delta Regional Foundation, and Amy Lofton Designs fund the program.

     The DCS sponsors for the program are Hernando High Counselor Anne Goss and DeSoto Central High History Teacher Jeff Shands.

     “This group of seniors has a 4.65 GPA average, a 30.1 ACT average, and scholarship offers of $6,400,000,” said Goss.  “While these statistics are impressive, what you can’t see is their character, hearts, drive, or focus.  We have been so proud and honored to work with this group to see them grow.  We look forward to see where they are going.”

     One year SYLC students study entrepreneurship, take a local business tour, and end the year with a trip to New York City.  During the alternating year, the students study local, state, and national government and politics, and tour Washington, DC.   The students meet twice a month to learn from local leaders and study leadership styles. Every year members work on a community service project.

     “This year students worked to serve DeSoto Grace to provide after school tutoring to students in need within our county,” Goss said. 

     “This program pushes students to go outside their comfort zones,” said Tracy Robinson, mother of senior Anna Grace Robinson.  “My daughter navigated the group on the Metro in Washington, DC, a unique opportunity and a growth experience for her.  Through SYLC, she has  new friends from all eight high schools. It has had a wonderful two-year experience.”

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30+ Club Hits New High for DeSoto County Schools

     DeSoto County Schools Board of Education recognized 148 students with a silver medallion for scoring 30 or higher on their ACT.  This is a new record for DCS.  In 2017, there were 118 seniors; in 2018 there were 136 seniors.

     Students with 30 or above on their ACT score places them in the top 93rd percentile nationally out of the two million students taking the ACT this year. For comparison purposes, a 30 on the ACT converts to a 1370 on the SAT based on the college Board/ACT concordance.

 Center Hill High School 

 DeSoto Central High School 

Hernando High School 

Horn Lake High School 

 Lake Cormorant High School 

Lewisburg High School 

Olive Branch High School 

Southaven High School 

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First Grade Students Flying High at OBE

From left, Amy Aguilera, Giselle Olmos, Michelle Puentes, and Jonathan Andino helped make the “bird playground.”

     A bird’s nest sparked a fire for learning with a class of English Learners (EL) at Olive Branch Elementary, and their teacher, Sonya Nipp, seized the opportunity to launch a project-based learning unit on “birds.”

     She asked the first grade students, “What can we do to learn more about birds?”

     Everyone raised his or her hands.  All had strong opinions.  One student demanded to be heard.  She blurted out, “We can make a bird playground.”

     The idea was born. The small group now had a mission.  Their goal was to create an outdoor space that would attract all types of birds, so they could learn more about them.

     “Some people may think first grade students are too young to begin doing research,” Mrs. Nipp said.  “However, when students want to learn, amazing things happen.  I saw creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and research skills develop through their ‘hands-on’ learning.”

Zabbi Benitez worked on making bird pictures to hang from trees.

     One young fellow cut out pictures of birds, laminated them, identified the type of bird, and used pieces of string to “hang” the birds on low branches.  His theory was the pictures of birds would attract other birds to visit their “bird playground.”

     “Project-based learning’s benefit is that these EL students are learning vocabulary and other language skills while working together and pouring over meaningful content,” said Stephanie Green, Director of EL.

     “We have the best job ever,” said Nipp. “Our students have a desire to master English, and they learn so quickly. We have the opportunity to see rapid growth, and it is fun to teach when students want to learn. I would also like to give credit to our amazing PTO, who donated money ($150) for the bird food and shepherd's hooks.”

Teacher Sonya Nipp with some of her enthusiastic EL students as they showcase what they have learned about birds.

     While the project will be ongoing, Mrs. Nipp invited all of the OBE classes and teachers to visit their bird friendly space that had bird feeders and many handmade bird ornaments. As students and teachers walked around their atrium area, Mrs. Nipps’ students served as tour guides.

     “I brought balloons to the party,” said one student.  “It was my idea.  I don’t know if birds like balloons, but I did. Balloons go with parties.”

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The Power of Dreams

     Hernando Hills Elementary lost a remarkable assistant principal too soon.  Her name was Wendy Myers, 45.  While working at HHES, her dream was to lead a playground expansion.

     “Mrs. Myers wanted every day of learning to also be filled with fun,” said HHES Principal Stephanie Gilder to an outdoor audience of the student body, teachers, friends and family of the Myers. “She gave us the vision of what we needed to do.  We are now working to fulfill her dream.”

     To date, the PTO, students, and faculty have raised $36,730 to establish a “Memory Maker Playground” at HHES.   

Family members attending the celebration are Townsend and Kathleen Myers, and Billy Myers.

     As the Timber Tigers sang “Thank You for Being a Friend,” every classroom released red balloons to honor her memory.

     As the balloons drifted off in the sky, Mrs. Gilder quietly said, “We are all better people for having known and worked with Wendy.

     The addition to the playground will begin in the fall. 

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Mississippi Farm Bureau Ag Art State Winners

From left, HLHS Art Teacher Tammy Gill Smith, Grand Award Winner Dawson Hinton, and MFBA Ag Education Specialist Dr. Sandy Lipscomb.

     Two DeSoto County School students won top awards in the MS Farm Bureau Federation Ag Art Contest.  Both students will have their art published in the 2020 MS Ag Art Calendar.   This calendar is distributed statewide.

     Dawson Hinton, an 11th grader at HLHS, drew a tractor and a barn that caught the eye of the MFBA judges as the best pencil drawing from more than 1,000 entries.  He was the Grand Award Winner in all grades.  His drawing will be featured on the cover as well as included in the calendar. 

     “Dawson won the county, district, and overall state contest,” said Dr. Sandy Lipscomb, MS Farm Bureau Ag Education Specialist.  “He earned cash awards for each level, totaling $205.”

From left, DCES Principal Lisa Nye, Emily Douglas, Elementary Winner McKinley Douglas and Dr. Sandy Lipscomb.

     McKinley Douglas, a 3rd grade student at DeSoto Central Elementary, was one of six elementary winners.  Her combined earnings totaled $105.   Her mother, Emily Douglas, said McKinley spent many hours drawing a scarecrow and farm animals before she felt the work was complete.

      “There are six elementary winners and six high school winners,” said Dr. Lipscomb.  “A drawing is featured each month of the year.  Since the contest is so competitive, I think it is amazing that the Grand Winner for the last two consecutive years has been from Mrs. Tammy Gill Smith’s art class at Horn Lake High School.”

     “Mrs. Smith taught me everything I know about art,” said Dawson.  “She is an excellent teacher.”

     Mississippi Ag in the Classroom is a school-based program helping students in grades K-12 acquire broader knowledge about agriculture and how it affects their world.  The program’s objective is to encourage educators to teach more about the critical role of agriculture in Mississippi’s economy and society.    The art contest is one aspect of this program.  The title of the contest was called “Down on the Farm.”  Farm scenes, agricultural crops, and animals  were the subjects of most art pieces. MS Farm Bureau  sponsors this contest every year to give Farm Bureau Women an opportunity to reach students in grades 1-6 and 7-12 and increase awareness of the importance of agriculture in Mississippi.

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Replacing Paper One Google Form at a Time

     Jennifer Klinger and Cassie Sanders, DCS Instructional Technology Coaches, were given the opportunity to present at the MASA Conference in Biloxi, MS. Their presentation focused on the simple question of “What is one paper form you would like to eliminate and replace digitally?” They introduced Google Forms and showcased several examples administrators can utilize and incorporate into their everyday practices to make life easier including daily observations forms and discipline referral forms. Wrapping up their session, they ended with an “App Smash” featuring ten of their favorite apps in 60 seconds or less.
     In the summer of 2017, Klinger and Sanders were selected by Google to be Certified Trainers. They are now two of the few Google Certified Trainers/Educators in the state of Mississippi. They have been dubbed “The Google Girls” which they appreciate and embrace.
     If you would like Mrs. Klinger or Mrs. Sanders to help you incorporate Google Forms at your school, you can contact either Tech Coach via DCS email.

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Disney’s Jungle Book KIDS Performed at HHES

From left to right, Emma-Kate Johnson, Janiya Moore, Music Teacher Alayna Weiss, Owen Marlier, and George Fernandez, were stars in HHES’ production of Disney's Jungle Book.

     There was a jumpy, jazzy beat at Hernando Hills Elementary School as 340 second grade students danced and sang Disney’s Jungle Book KIDS.

     Three shows were held at Hernando Hills Elementary School.

     “Each show had a different cast,” said HHES music teacher Alayna Weiss.  “There were about 125 kids starring in each show.  I had multiple performances, so more students had the opportunity to be leads and have speaking parts.”   

Bumblebees gathered around Mowgli (Eli Weaver), including Brandon Reichert, Ava Brinson, Alie Cornelius, and Gracyn Thornton.

     Weiss says a production involving half of their student body required a whole school effort to produce scenery and props, run lights and sound, and provide costumes for students.

     “Our PTA is phenomenal,” she said.  “Our teaching staff is so creative and supportive.”

      An opening act involved their “Tiny Strings” group, where students play ukuleles.

Triplets Samuel, Thomas and William Tuberville got to perform in Disney’s Jungle Book.

     Weiss, who lived in New York and worked as an actor, holds a degree in musical theatre.  She has starred in many DeSoto Family Theatre and Kudzu productions.  Her husband’s job with FedEx brought their family to DeSoto County.  

     “Jungle Book KIDS featured a host of colorful characters and songs from the movie,” Weiss said.  “This show was a fun family event.”

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Flags for Schools

From left, Supt. Cory Uselton,  Director of Continuing Education Jo Cox, Woodman Life’s Representative Katricia Smith, Teacher Jean Martin, and Board Members Ann Jolley, Michele Henley, and Milton Nichols.

     Keeping new flags flying at 42 schools is a constant challenge, but two groups have recently made generous contributions to the Flag Program at DeSoto County Schools.

New American flags are flying at DeSoto County Schools. Sandy Brent, a DAR representative with the Felix LaBauve Chapter, presented 10 large flags to Rob Chase, DCS' Chief Operating Officer.

     The Felix LaBauve Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution supply new flags each year, and recently contributed 10 large flags to the school district. DAR Representative Sandy Brent presented the flags to Rob Chase, Chief Operating Officer.

      For the second year in a row, Woodman’s Life gave the District 42 new flags, one for every school.  Katricia Smith, a Woodman’s Life representative, attended a board meeting and made the presentation. Jo Cox, DCS’ Continuing Education Director, and Jean Martin, Teacher at Southaven Elementary, are policy holders with Woodman’s Life and requested the flag donation.

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2019-2020 Tentative Academic Calendar

August 2, 2019                       Teachers’ First Day

August 7, 2019                       Students’ First Day

September 2, 2019                 Labor Day Holiday

October 14, 2019                    Columbus Day Holiday

November 5, 2019                  Professional Development Day

November 25-29, 2019           Thanksgiving Holidays

December 20, 2019                End First Semester

December 23, 2019-               Christmas Holidays

January 1, 2020

January 2 and 3, 2020            Professional Development Days

January 6, 2020                      Students return

January 20, 2020                    Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

February 17, 2020                  President’s Day Holiday (Tentative)

March 9-13, 2020                   Spring Break

April 10, 2020                         Good Friday Holiday

April 13, 2020                         Easter Break (Tentative)

May 21, 2020                         Students’ Last Day (Tentative)

May 22, 2020                         Teachers’ Last Day (Tentative)

Tentative Make-up Days: February 17, April 13, May 22, and May 26

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The DeSoto County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

DeSoto County Schools

Katherine Nelson, Director, Communications

Geri Hill, Graphic Designer

5 East South Street
Hernando, Mississippi 38632
Phone: 662-429-5271
Fax: 662-429-4198