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Key Communicator-February 1, 2012

MPSD Announces 2012 Teacher of the Year

Jennifer DuPont, third grade math and science teacher at Poplar Springs Elementary, will represent the Meridian Public School District as 2012 Teacher of the Year.


With over 14 years of teaching experience, DuPont was selected based on her outstanding efforts in the classroom. Her students consistently score “Star” status on the MCT2 (state test) given each year in May. DuPont serves as a “Model Classroom Teacher” for her school, mentors new teachers, and presents strategies for success at conferences.


DuPont will also represent MPSD in the State Teacher of the Year program hosted by the Teacher Center at the Mississippi Department of Education.


Click here to read the full story from the Meridian Star.


Each school in the District also chooses a Teacher of the Year:


Crestwood Elementary: Shevondra Clayton

T.J. Harris Elementary: Carla Desmond

Oakland Heights Elementary: Elise Dickerson

Parkview Elementary: Kirby Simmons

Poplar Springs Elementary: Jennifer DuPont

West Hills Elementary: Kathy Scott

Carver Middle: Vickie Moseley

Magnolia Middle: Robin Hall

Northwest Middle: Jason Kidd

Meridian High: Donna Smith

Ross Collins: Laurel Rigdon


Congratulations to these teachers on their outstanding accomplishments and this huge honor!


MPSD Welcomes New CFO Rebecca Stevens

MPSD is pleased to announce that Rebecca Stevens has been named Chief Fiscal Officer.

With a Masters in Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Mississippi State University, Stevens comes to Meridian from the Newton County School District with 6 years of School Finance experience. She has over 17 years of business accounting and management experience in total.

Stevens is replacing former CFO Linda Spence who retired at the end of January.

Welcome Mrs. Stevens!

DECA Students Take Top Honors at Competition

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students from Ross Collins Career and Technical Center recently competed in District Competition at Jones County Community College. Ten out of the 12 competing placed and are eligible to compete at State Competition in February.

DECA, founded in 1946, is an association of high school students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in the areas of business, marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances a students’ preparation for college by providing them with programs that integrate into classroom instruction and membership enables students to become academically prepared, community oriented, and professionally responsible.

The following students placed at district competition and qualify to compete at the state competition in Jackson on February 16-18:

Concetta Hornsby/Shaciarra Drake: 1st place, Team Event, Travel and Tourism
Jessica Brown, 2nd place, Apparel & Accessories Marketing Series
Rhett Spivey, 2nd place, Principles of Business Management and Administration
Jake Purvis, 2nd place, Principles of Marketing
Tayla Taylor/Hunter Gaither: 3rd place, Team, Buying and Merchandising
Deandria Gowdy, 3rd place, Retail Merchandising Series
Kissy Watkins, 4th place, Human Resources Management Series
Alexandria Henderson, 6th place, Hotel and Lodging Management Series

Congratulations to these students on a job well done!! Click here for more information and to see a picture of the team.

Carver Middle School is Reading!

Carver Middle School set a big goal at the beginning of the school year to encourage students to read more. The goal was to reach 15,000 Accelerated Reader points. Through the AR program, students can check out books in the library, read them, take a computerized test to gauge reading comprehension, and earn points according to their score on the test and reading level of the book. On average, a book is worth between 1 to 10 points.

So, what is the incentive to read? Students got to choose what their reward would be if they reached the goal, and they chose for the Principal, Tiffany Plott, to die her hair a bright color for a day. The top ten readers will get to choose the color. Plott is getting the dye ready since the school is already at 11,900 points!

Eighth grader, Alishia Armstrong, is playing a huge role in helping the school reach their goal. Armstrong has read 182 books since the beginning of school in August! Yes, 182 books! She is also answering 90.1 percent of the questions on the tests correctly. So far, she has earned a total of 1,012 AR points.

Congratulations to Carver Middle School and Alishia Armstrong on your hard work!

MHS Honors Academic Achievement

The Wildcat Alumni and Friends Association generously honored students recently at Meridian High School that are showing academic growth. The growth was determined from the common assessments students take each nine weeks, and forty students showed tremendous growth from the first common assessment to the second. These forty students were given $50 gift cards to Best Buy to celebrate their academic accomplishments.

During the celebration, MHS Star Student, Daniel May, announced his choice for Star Teacher. May was chosen as Star Student based on his outstanding ACT score of 33 out of 36 possible points. He named his mother, Lynn May, as his Star Teacher. May’s mother was his second grade teacher, and he felt she had made the biggest impact on his academic success.

Honor Roll students were also honored with a pizza party for their hard work.

Click here to see the students honored.

For more information on the Wildcat Alumni and Friends Association, please visit

Come Visit Us!

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

Poplar Springs Elementary Ballroom Dancing Lessons for 4th graders

Wednesday, February 1- Friday, February 3 and Wednesday, February 8 – Friday, February 10

All 4th grade students will participate in Ballroom Dancing Lessons during P.E. classes.

Meridian High School Reality Fair for 9th Graders

February 2, 3, 7, and 9

The 9th grade Counselors are hosting a Reality Fair for the 9th grade students. The Junior Auxiliary will conduct the fair aimed to help expose the students to “real world” experiences.


Magnolia Middle Beauty & Beau Applications Due

Friday, February 3


Oakland Heights Elementary Science Fair

Friday, February 3

Projects are due on Thursday, February 2.


Parkview Elementary Spring Pictures

Friday, February 3


Carver Middle Scholastic Book Fair

Monday, February 6 – Friday, February 10 – 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The spring book fair theme is “Book Fair Luau.” You can even shop at the Book Fair online! You will find bestsellers, series sets, great non-fiction, and much more. The goal of the Carver Book Fair is to sell 800 books. Call the school office at 601-484-4482 for more information.


Northwest Middle “Pennies for Patients”

Monday, February 6 – Wednesday, February 29

The Northwest Student Council will hold a fundraising campaign “Pennies for Patients.” This is a wonderful program that gives students the opportunity to aid thousands of children and adults that are battling blood cancers like Leukemia.


Crestwood Elementary Science Fair

Tuesday, February 7


Parkview Elementary Dental Program

Tuesday, February 7


Northwest Middle School Open House

Tuesday, February 7 – 5:30 p.m.

Northwest Auditorium

If you are the parent or guardian of a 5th grade student at Poplar Springs Elementary or West Hills Elementary, this is for you! The Open House will provide an overview of the great opportunities that Northwest has to offer your student including performances by the band, cheerleaders, and chorus. You will be able to take a tour of the school and ask any questions you may have. You don’t want to miss this Open House!


Oakland Heights Elementary Dental Program

Thursday, February 9 – 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.


Carver Middle Valentine’s Day Dance

Thursday, February 9 – 6 to 8 p.m.

Meridian High School Beauty and Beau

Thursday, February 9 – 7 p.m.

Meridian High School Auditorium

$5 general admission


Northwest Middle Annual Valentine’s Dance

Thursday, February 9 – 6 to 8 p.m.

Hosted by the Northwest Student Council


Parkview Elementary Spelling Bees

Friday, February 10

The spelling bees will be held by grade level.


Poplar Springs Elementary Presents “Celebrate Meridian”

Friday, February 10 – 10:30 a.m.

Poplar Springs Auditorium

Third grade students will present an arts integrated program entitled “Celebrate Meridian” as a culminating project for their study of our hometown, Meridian. February 10 is Meridian’s Birthday!


Magnolia Middle Valentine’s Day Dance

Friday, February 10 – 6 to 8 p.m.


MPSD Early Dismissal for Parent/Teacher Conferences

Monday, February 13

12:40 p.m. - Elementary Dismissal

1:10 p.m. - Secondary Dismissal


Carver Middle Special Guest – Biggest Loser Patrick House

Monday, February 13 – 10:30 a.m.

Carver Gym

Mississippi native and Biggest Loser Winner Patrick House will speak to students about the importance of eating healthy and exercising.


T.J. Harris Elementary Valentine’s Day Dance

Tuesday, February 14


Poplar Springs Elementary 4th Grade Ballroom Dance

Tuesday, February 14


Parkview Elementary 2nd Grade Grandparents’ Day Program

Wednesday, February 15 – 9:30 a.m.


Northwest Middle School Multi-Cultural Career Fair

Friday, February 17

The goal of the Career Fair is provide all students with career guidance and to empower them to realize that any career is possible if set their goal, stay in school, and work hard. There will be police officers, doctors, insurance sales representatives, hospital representatives, funeral homes directors, architects, city officials, and many others on hand to discuss with students the amount of education, training, and what steps must be taken to have a successful career in the field they are representing.


Presidents’ Day Holiday

Monday, February 20

All MPSD schools will be closed.


Poplar Springs Elementary Mardi Gras Parade

Tuesday, February 21 – 9:30 a.m.

Kindergarten students will participate in the annual Poplar Springs Mardi Gras parade as a culminating activity of an arts integrated study of Mardi Gras traditions.


Oakland Heights Elementary “We Love Our Parents” Night

Tuesday, February 21 – 6 to 7 p.m.

Join us for food, fun, and fellowship.


West Hills Elementary PTO Meeting

Tuesday, February 21 – 6 p.m.

Northwest Middle School Auditorium


West Hills Elementary “Talkin’ Drums” Program

Thursday, February 23

12:15 – K- 2nd grades

1:15 – 3rd - 5th grades


T.J. Harris Elementary Black History Month Program

Friday, February 24


Oakland Heights Elementary “Talkin’ Drums” Program

Friday, February 24 – 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Dr. Strong with Especially for the Children will help Oakland Heights celebrate Black History Month with a performance entitled “Talkin’ Drums.” This is an exciting musical performance featuring storytelling, drama, and poetry.


Parkview Elementary Black History Month Program

Friday, February 24

9 a.m. - Pre-K through 2nd grades

1 p.m. - 3rd through 5th grades


West Hills Elementary Black History Month Program

Friday, February 24 – 1:30 p.m.


Middle School Band Solo and Ensemble

Saturday, February 25 – 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All middle school band students are required to attend and perform.


Magnolia Middle Black History Month Program

Monday, February 27


Carver Middle Black History Month Program

Tuesday, February 28 – 8:30 a.m.


Crestwood Elementary PTO Meeting/Black History Month Program

Tuesday, February 28 – 6 p.m.


Oakland Heights Elementary Black History Month Program

Tuesday, February 28 – 6 p.m.

The program will feature praise dancers, pantomime presentation, and singing.


Ross Collins FAFSA Day for Seniors

Wednesday, February 29 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Educational Services Foundation will be at Ross Collins to process financial aid paperwork for Seniors.


Meridian High School Cheerleading Technique Clinic

Wednesday, February 29 – Thursday, March 1

The clinic is open to students that would like to improve their jumps, overall technique, and other cheerleading skills. It will be very beneficial to middle school students planning to try out for cheerleading this spring or students that have never cheered.

$20 per student

Contact Fred Delk or Laura Hyche at Meridian High School to register.



MPSD in the News…

Scholastic Art Award Winners

EMBDC Awards Head of the Class (2 Students from Ross Collins Receive the Honor)

Ross Collins’ DECA Team Wins Big at Competition

MHS Honors Academic Achievement

Teacher of the Year

Safety Tips for Children Walking to School

Around the District

Be sure to check the MPSD website,, for updates on school events and other district news!

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1019 25th Ave | Meridian, MS 39301 | PH: 601-483-6271