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Key Communicator Newsletter - 12.7.15

Key Communicator-December 7, 2015

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Ross Collins Career and Technical Center Wins Best Christmas Parade Float

For the second year in a row, Ross Collins Career and Technical Center earned “Best Overall Float” in the Merry Meridian Christmas Parade! This is their third year to win with a first place finish in the Non-Profit Division three years ago. Congratulations to the students and staff on this honor!

Check out the MPSD Facebook page for pictures of the Award Winning Tonka Truck.

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MPSD Administrator and Teachers of the Year

MPSD Administrator of the Year – Barbara Young, Principal of Oakland Heights Elementary School

Ms. Young is in her fourth year as Principal of Oakland Heights Elementary School, and she has served all but one of her 29 years in education at Oakland Heights. Under Ms. Young’s leadership, Oakland Heights Elementary School was recognized by the Mississippi Department of Education as a “Champion of Change” for being a High Progress School. In addition, Ms. Young helped lead 98 percent of third grade students at Oakland Heights Elementary to pass the new Third Grade Gateway Assessment. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University as well as Masters and Specialist degrees in Instructional Leadership from the University of West Alabama.

MPSD Teacher of the Year – Rhonda Burrage, Math Instructor at Magnolia Middle School

Ms. Burrage teaches Pre-Algebra and Algebra I at Magnolia Middle School, and she has been a Top 20 teacher for the past four years. Her previous state assessment scores show that 100% of her students passed the Algebra I assessment. She serves as the Math Department Chair for Magnolia Middle School, Recorder on the school’s Leadership Team, and has previously served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee. Ms. Burrage has three consecutive years of perfect attendance, and she was recently recognized as the October 2015 Golden Apple Award Winner. She holds a Master’s Degree and has six years of teaching experience.

Congratulations to the following 2015-16 Teachers of the Year for each school:

Carver Middle School - Jacob Drury
Crestwood Elementary School – Jerlisa Jones
Magnolia Middle School – Rhonda Burrage
Marion Park Alternative School – James Harrison
Meridian High School – Jayne Walker
Northwest Middle School – Kristin Warren
Oakland Heights Elementary School - Taiesha Young
Parkview Elementary School – Kelly McVay
Poplar Springs Elementary School – Heather Pouncey
Ross Collins Career and Technical Center – Terkita Kennedy
T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School – Phyllis Collier
T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School – Roxie Smith
West Hills Elementary School – Betty Campbell

Congratulations to these Wildcats! We appreciate your hard work so much!

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Meridian High School Christmas Extravaganza – Tonight!

Join the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Meridian High School on Monday, December 7 for the Empty Bowls Empty Hearts Dinner and Christmas Extravaganza Concert.

5:30 to 7:00 p.m. – Empty Bowls, Empty Hearts Dinner in the MHS Cafeteria

7:00 p.m. – A Christmas Extravaganza presented by the MHS Concert Choir in the MHS Auditorium

For a $10 donation to L.O.V.E.’S Kitchen, you will receive soup, dessert, and beverage plus your choice of a specially hand-crafted bowl to take home as a tangible keepsake of filling another’s empty bowl. The Meridian High School Concert Choir will perform a Christmas Extravaganza as well.

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New! MPSD Honor Roll Yard Signs

The new MPSD yard signs have been sent home with students who were on the first nine weeks honor roll. Be sure to congratulate these honor roll students when you see the new signs across our community!

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November Teachers of the Month – Taiesha Young Jones and Britani Jones

Congratulations to Taiesha Young, Oakland Heights Elementary School, and Britani Jones, Crestwood Elementary School, who were honored recently with a surprise classroom visit, flowers, and $25 gift card.

Oakland Heights – Taiesha Young
Taiesha Young teaches pre-kindergarten at Oakland Heights Elementary School. Ms. Young was nominated for this honor by her peers at Oakland Heights. She recently volunteered to create the Oakland Heights cheerleading team, and she stays late with the cheerleaders one a week to practice. She also serves as a mentor for a new teacher. Ms. Young had the highest growth at her school on the MKAS progress monitoring as well.

Crestwood – Britani Jones
Britani Jones is an Inclusion Teacher at Crestwood Elementary School. This is her first year at Crestwood and her second year as a teacher. Ms. Jones earned this honor due to her professionalism as well as her nurturing and caring spirit. She does a great job for the students of Crestwood and works well with the faculty and staff. Ms. Jones is also very up-to-date on the policies and procedures regarding special education and is doing a phenomenal job.

Mayor Percy Bland, Meridian Parks and Recreation Director Kelvin McGruder, and local businesses, Cartoons and Balloons and Nino's Daycare, will be recognizing an outstanding teacher or staff member from two MPSD schools a month during the 2015-16 school year. 

Congratulations to Ms. Young and Ms. Jones! We are very proud of you!

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MHS Honor Society Raised Over $1,000 for L.O.V.E.’S Kitchen

The Meridian High School chapter of the National Honor Society sold brightly-colored paper turkey feathers for one dollar as a service project to raise money for L.O.V.E.’S Kitchen. The feathers were signed by the purchaser and then placed on a cut-out of a turkey throughout the halls of the school.

In the fifth year of the fundraiser, the students raised $1333.85 which is almost triple the amount they have raised in years past!

To read the full article in the The Wildcat online newspaper, visit http://mhswildcat.com.

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MPSD Students Give Back in a Big Way

During the recent and 11th annual Popeyes and Little Caesars Canned Food Drive, 11,190 students from 27 local schools collected 41,314 cans of food to be donated to the less fortunate in our community. From all of the participating schools, the overall six homerooms collecting the most cans received a $250 Cash Award to be used by each teacher for the needs of her classroom and students. In addition, these homerooms received Gift Certificates from Popeyes and Little Caesars for Chicken/Pizza Parties.

Three MPSD schools placed in the Top Six Homerooms:
Phyllis Collier’s classroom at T.J. Harris Lower - 16 students collected 1,218 cans
Shea Thrash’s classroom at T.J. Harris Lower -  20 students collected 1,101 cans
Thomonique Daniels’ classroom at Crestwood Elementary - 19 students collected 955 cans

Participating MPSD schools include: Carver Middle, Crestwood Elementary, Magnolia Middle, Northwest Middle, Oakland Heights Elementary, Parkview Elementary, Poplar Springs Elementary, T.J. Harris Upper Elementary, and T.J. Harris Lower Elementary.

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MPSD Teachers Awarded Grants from the Meridian Junior Auxiliary

Each year, the Meridian JA awards grants to teachers across the area to use in their classrooms, and this year our District had four grant recipients!

Congratulations to:

Michelle Cook, Parkview Elementary School (Music)
Grant Title: Music Needs of Elementary School
Brief Description of the Grant: Enhancement of music education program at Parkview including the purchase of new instruments and sound system.

Mary Kate Diltz, Meridian High School (9th Grade Biology)
Grant Title: Human Impact
Brief Description of the Grant: Students will learn about human impact on the environment and how humans and how humans impact other organisms through participating in various science experiments and activities.

Marsha Iverson, Meridian High School (Art)
Grant Title: Printmaking through History: From Hokusai to Kollwitz
Brief Description of the Grant: Students will learn about the history of printmaking and participate in various printmaking projects.

Tawanda McClelland, Oakland Heights Elementary School (4th Grade)
Grant Title: Reading: The Gift of a Lifetime
Brief Description of the Grant: Literacy centers (workstations) will be created within the classroom to create meaningful opportunities to practice various literacy skills.

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Crestwood Elementary Student Reads Way to Egg Bowl

KeAzeria Johnson, fifth grade student at Crestwood Elementary School, was surprised in her classroom recently as the winner of the Mississippi Association of Educators "Egg Bowl Reading Challenge!" KeAzeria read at least six books during the Challenge, and she beat 13,000 students from across Mississippi to win three tickets to the Egg Bowl! Way to go KeAzeria!

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MPSD Early Dismissal and Winter Break

On Thursday, December 17 and Friday, December 18, Elementary schools will dismiss at 12:40 p.m. and Middle schools and the High school will dismiss at 1:10 p.m.

All MPSD schools will be closed for Winter Break on Monday, December 21 through Tuesday, January 5. Students will return to school on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Wildcat Family!

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MPSD to Host Second Annual “Race for the Future” 5K Run, 2 mile Walk, and 1 mile Fun Run

The Meridian Public School District will be hosting the second annual “Race for the Future” 5K Run, 2 mile Walk, and 1 mile Fun Run on Saturday, January 16 at 9:00 a.m. at MHS. The early registration deadline, which ensures a t-shirt, is Wednesday, December 16.

For more information or an application, please click here

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Wildcats in Action

Meridian High School Basketball and Soccer Teams are still in action!

For a basketball schedule, click here.

For a soccer schedule, click here.

Be sure to support our student athletes!

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Come Visit Us!

We have tons of opportunities for you to be involved in our schools, so mark your calendars!

 

Meridian High School Empty Bowls, Empty Hearts Dinner and Christmas Extravaganza Concert

Monday, December 7

5:30 to 7:00 p.m. – Empty Bowls Dinner in the MHS Cafeteria

7:00 p.m. – A Christmas Extravaganza in the MHS Auditorium

For a $10 donation to L.O.V.E.’S Kitchen, you will receive soup, dessert, and beverage plus your choice of a specially hand-crafted bowl to take home as a tangible keepsake of filling another’s empty bowl. The Meridian High School Concert Choir will perform a Christmas Extravaganza as well.

 

Carver Middle School Christmas Concert

Tuesday, December 8 – 6:00 p.m.

The Carver Middle School Band and Chorus will perform a Christmas Concert.

 

T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School Literacy/Holiday Night

Tuesday, December 8 – 5:00 p.m.

 

Magnolia Middle School Science Fair Projects Due

Wednesday, December 9

 

Oakland Heights Elementary School Christmas Pictures

Wednesday, December 9

 

T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Parent Meeting

Wednesday, December 9 – 5:00 p.m.

 

West Hills Elementary School PBIS Pajama Day

Wednesday, December 9

 

Crestwood Elementary School Christmas “Lunch and Learn” for Pre-K through Second Grades

Thursday, December 10

11:30 a.m. – Pre-K and Kindergarten

12:00 p.m. – First Grade

12:30 p.m. – Second Grade

 

Magnolia Middle School Christmas Lunch for Seventh and Eighth Grades

Thursday, December 10

 

Northwest Middle School Christmas Lunch for Sixth Graders

Thursday, December 10 – 11:05

Parents are asked to sign in at the office prior to the lunch.

 

Oakland Heights Elementary School Christmas Lunch for Third through Fifth Grades

Thursday, December 10

 

Parkview Elementary School Christmas Dinner for Third through Fifth Grades

Thursday, December 10

 

Poplar Springs Elementary School Christmas Lunch for Kindergarten, Third and Fifth Grades

Thursday, December 10

 

T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School Christmas Lunch for First and Second Grades

Thursday, December 10

 

West Hills Elementary School Christmas Lunch for First, Third, and Fifth Grades

Thursday, December 10

 

Crestwood Elementary School PBIS “Big” Commissary

Friday, December 11

 

Oakland Heights Elementary School Science Fair

Friday, December 11

 

Poplar Springs Elementary School First Grade Program

Friday, December 11 – 10:30 a.m.

 

T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Good Behavior Skating Party

Friday, December 11

 

West Hills Elementary School PTO Dance

Friday, December 11

Cost is $2 and includes a drink

 

Meridian High School Wildcat Players Host Christmas Vendor Event

Saturday, December 12 – 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

MHS Library

Come to shop from various vendors for Christmas gifts.

 

Magnolia Middle School Science Fair

Tuesday, December 15

 

T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Holiday Dance

Tuesday, December 15 – 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

 

West Hills Elementary School PTO Meeting

Tuesday, December 15 – 5:30 p.m.

 

Crestwood Elementary School Christmas Production

Wednesday, December 16 – 1:00 p.m.

 

Oakland Heights Elementary School Student Christmas Parties

Wednesday, December 16

 

T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School PBIS Activity

Wednesday, December 16

1:00 p.m. – Pre-K and Kindergarten

1:45 p.m. – First and Second grades

 

T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Talent Show

Wednesday, December 16 – 1:00 p.m.

 

Crestwood Elementary School Classroom Christmas Parties

Thursday, December 17

 

Magnolia Middle School PBIS Dance

Thursday, December 17

 

T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School December PBIS Celebration

Thursday, December 17

 

MPSD Early Dismissal

Thursday, December 17

Elementary Schools will dismiss at 12:40 p.m. and Middle and High Schools will dismiss at 1:10 p.m.

 

Parkview Elementary School Christmas Play

Friday, December 18

Magnolia Auditorium

 

Poplar Springs Elementary School Annual Giving Feast for Wesley House

Friday, December 18 – 9:00 a.m.

Poplar Springs Auditorium

"The Giving Feast,” a well-loved tradition at Poplar Springs, integrates the arts in a celebration of this season of giving.  During the month of December, students collect new toys and bikes for Wesley House and at "The Giving Feast" the abundance of gifts are revealed!  It is a celebration to warm the heart! 

 

MPSD Early Dismissal

Friday, December 18

Elementary Schools will dismiss at 12:40 p.m. and Middle and High Schools will dismiss at 1:10 p.m.

 

MPSD Winter Break

Monday, December 21, 2015 through Tuesday, January 5, 2016

All MPSD students will be out of school for Winter Break from December 21 through January 5. Students return to school on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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MPSD in the News…

 

Meridian’s Davis Receives All American Game Jersey

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-s-davis-receives-all-american-game-jersey/article_ef3fbe12-9a15-11e5-8c8c-cbbc8c85f437.html

 

Meridian’s Davis Named to U.S. Army All American Bowl

http://www.wtok.com/sports/headlines/Meridians-Davis-Named-To-US-Army-All-American-Bowl-360492351.html

 

New Route for Meridian Christmas Parade – 2014 Best Overall Float Ross Collins will carry the Santa Claus in the parade this year

http://www.meridianstar.com/news/local_news/new-route-for-meridian-christmas-parade/article_b8a1f018-996c-11e5-82d0-8bea21eeb4ce.html

 

MPSD Announces AOY and TOY

http://www.meridianstar.com/community/education/meridian-public-school-district-announces---administrator-and-teacher/article_84fe7a5a-98a0-11e5-840f-9bd474652aae.html

 

Shining Brightly – Crestwood Elementary Choir and MHS Choir sang at the annual tree lighting ceremony

http://www.meridianstar.com/news/local_news/shining-brightly/article_6d78cf8c-98a7-11e5-b228-3393f16e90f0.html

 

Local Educators Awarded JA Mini-Grants

http://www.meridianstar.com/news/local-educators-awarded-ja-of-meridian-teacher-mini-grants/article_574dcdc2-97dd-11e5-9e31-6f11209a8a5e.html

 

Empty Bowls Empty Hearts Fundraiser Announced

http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Empty-Bowls-Empty-Hearts-Fundraiser-Announced-354766451.html

 

Meridian Served Plenty of Crow to Its Doubters

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/kerekes-column-meridian-served-plenty-of-crow-to-its-doubters/article_c3e3b0c6-9659-11e5-97cd-eb1465047172.html

 

Late Turnovers Doom Meridian in Loss to Petal

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/late-turnovers-doom-meridian-in---loss-to-petal/article_057c12a6-9594-11e5-9d44-6f31f40c7f2d.html

 

Despite Negative Chatter Meridian Players Didn’t Fold

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/despite-negative-chatter-meridian-players-didn-t-fold/article_33b217c4-94c2-11e5-9b65-97ea7e0a572d.html

 

Another Rematch Tonight with a State Title Berth on the Line

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/another-rematch-tonight-with-a-state-title-berth-on-the/article_48c47468-94c2-11e5-8cc4-334f06416983.html

 

Late Interception Seals it for Meridian vs Oak Grove

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/late-interception-seals-it-for-meridian-vs-oak-grove/article_ee16da3a-9014-11e5-ada3-7fa57d4fc50c.html

 

Temple Theater Celebrates Anniversary of the Wiz

http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Temple-Theater-Celebrates-Anniversary-of-The-Wiz-352288911.html

 

Meridian High Players Ready for Playoffs

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-high-players-ready-for-playoffs/article_2dcfa6a6-89c7-11e5-ad35-ef8070e00e48.html

 

Students Learn about Professions

http://www.meridianstar.com/news/local_news/students-learn-about-professions/article_b11414a4-8a79-11e5-875d-6f7b64b9c356.html

 

Meridian Student (KeAzeria Johnson, Crestwood) Wins Egg Bowl Tickets in MEA Reading Contest

http://www.meridianstar.com/news/local_news/meridian-student-wins-egg-bowl-tickets-in-mea-reading-contest/article_916d310a-8a7c-11e5-93b2-635fa46f3c00.html

 

MHS vs. Oak Grove

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/atkinson-column-with-mhs-vs-oak-grove-let-s-hope/article_84abb354-8e7f-11e5-8b4c-8f46c456c4ec.html

 

Meridian Players Eager for Rematch Against Oak Grove

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-players-eager-for-rematch-against-oak-grove/article_367e1316-8cea-11e5-8f85-f39558b4d28b.html

 

Meridian Boys Get Big Win Against Ranked Starkville

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-boys-get-big-win-against-ranked-starkville/article_c8c8f27a-89c7-11e5-bc51-8fef3e4cbe5d.html

 

Meridian High Players Ready for Playoffs

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-high-players-ready-for-playoffs/article_2dcfa6a6-89c7-11e5-ad35-ef8070e00e48.html

 

Crestwood Student, KeAzeria Johnson, Reads Way to the Egg Bowl

http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Crestwood-Student-Reads-Way-to-the-Egg-Bowl-346167852.html

 

Meridian Faces Tough Test in Gulfport

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-faces-tough-test-in-gulfport/article_e054b3be-88f7-11e5-abf2-7733bf71eca0.html

 

For Meridian, It’s Win or Go Home

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/for-meridian-it-s-win-or-go-home/article_f677ad26-876d-11e5-aa75-6f5dea06c8a1.html

 

Mary Swindell Named Outstanding Informal Science Teacher

http://www.meridianstar.com/community/education/mpsd-s-mary-swindell-named-outstanding-informal-science-teacher/article_2a53feb6-8830-11e5-8127-f74a01de7136.html

 

Meridian Gets Win vs. Forest Hill

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-gets-win-vs-pats/article_7d554e30-8448-11e5-8b98-43bc3796574a.html               

 

MS Performance on New Test Released

http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Mississippi-Performance-on-New-Test-Released-340920382.html

 

PSE Hosts Fall Retreat Focused on Teaching Through the Arts

http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Fall-Retreat-Focuses-on-Teaching-through-Arts-340270772.html

 

Meridian Set to Conclude Regular Season with Forest Hill Tonight

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/meridian-set-to-conclude-regular-season-with-forest-hill-tonight/article_3880bd4a-837a-11e5-8f90-47806cf7ca5f.html

 

Turner Has Six Tackles for Loss as Meridian Rolls Past Terry

http://www.meridianstar.com/sports/turner-has-six-tackles-for-loss-as-meridian-rolls-past/article_90df7b6c-7f8c-11e5-8b69-c736dc5121fb.html

 

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