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Key Communicator-November 5, 2015

Rhonda Burrage, Magnolia Teacher, Named October’s Golden Apple Award Winner

Rhonda Burrage, Pre-Algebra and Algebra Teacher at Magnolia Middle School, was recently surprised during a special pep rally with the October Golden Apple Award. The Golden Apple is awarded each month to an outstanding teacher in East Mississippi and West Alabama area for his or her commitment to excellence in the classroom. Ms. Burrage was nominated by her Principal, Angela McQuarley. To read the full story as featured in the Meridian Star, click here. To watch the video, click here.

Congratulations Ms. Burrage! MPSD is so proud of you!

First Robotics Club at Northwest Middle School off to Strong Start

Northwest Middle School students now have the opportunity to participate in a Robotics Club as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) focus within the Meridian Public School District.

The Robotics Club is currently comprised of about 20 students who meet once a week after school with Robotics Club Instructor Daniel Roberts and parent volunteer Robert Knutsen. The team recently participated in the Mississippi Best Robotics Competition at Mississippi State University where, using math and applied sciences, students met the engineering challenges before them and competed in eight rounds of competition.

To read the full story, click here.

October Teachers of the Month – Deanna Clayton and Steven Shadwick

Congratulations to Deanna Clayton, Parkview Elementary School, and Steven Shadwick, Magnolia Middle School, who were honored last week with a surprise classroom visit, flowers/gift basket, and $25 gas gift card.

Parkview – Deanna Clayton
Deanna Clayton teaches third through fifth grade students in self-contained special education at Parkview Elementary School. Ms. Clayton was chosen for this honor because she is a team player,always volunteers to help, is a hard worker, and has a humble spirit. She truly has the best interest of students at heart and believes that her students can be successful.

Magnolia –Steven Shadwick
Steven Shadwick is the seventh grade team leader at Magnolia Middle School. He was chosen for this award because he has a great rapport with students. He also types minutes from the seventh grade team meetings, makes sure the seventh grade teachers have the resources and information they need, and keeps the administration informed on academics and behavior of seventh grade students.

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. Clayton and Mr. Shadwick! We are very proud of you!

Meridian High School Marching Band Earns All Superiors

Congratulations to the Marching Band for earning ‘Superior’ ratings in every category and from each judge at the recent MHSAA State Marching Evaluation! This is the marching band’s version of state testing, and we are very proud of "The Greatest Band in All of the Land” for accomplishing what is equivalent to scoring advanced on the state test.

Congratulations to MHS Band Director Antonio Altman, all of the Assistant Band Directors, and the students on a job well done!

West Hills Elementary School Kindergarten Students Donate to Cancer Patients

Kindergarten students and teachers at West Hills Elementary School did their part to fight for a cure during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Students and teachers conducted a pink lemonade and pink cupcake sale during the week of October 19-23, 2015. They raised a total of $333.00. The proceeds were donated to the Cancer Patient Benevolence Fund at Anderson Regional Cancer Center. Mr. Wayne Herrington, Administrative Director of Anderson Regional Cancer Center, accepted the donation. These small students have made a huge difference!

MHS Cross Country Team Places First at Clarkdale Cross Country Invitational

Congratulations to the Meridian High School Cross Country Team for winning the Clarkdale Cross Country Invitational recently! Go Wildcats!

First Tee Golf Program Now Offered in MPSD Elementary Schools

MPSD Elementary School students now have the opportunity to participate in the First Tee Golf Program as part of Physical Education instruction. The First Tee integrates character education and health lessons along with basic golf instruction, and the program helps students develop an appreciation for the positive personal and social values associated with golf. Students engage in safe, fun lesson-activities that lead to motor-skill development while gaining an introduction to a lifelong recreation and health-enhancing activity.

To read more about this exciting program, click here.

National Red Ribbon Week

National Red Ribbon Week was hosted the last week of October in our schools with the theme “Respect Yourself, Be Drug Free.” Students participated in various contests about what it means to be drug free, were encouraged to make healthy choices, and took a pledge to remain drug free. A special thanks to Lauderdale County Drug Court Judge Veldore Young Graham and her team of city and county officials for bringing this event to our schools each year.

Exciting Learning Opportunities

Each day, educators in the Meridian Public School District present exciting opportunities for students to learn subject matter in “out-of the box” ways. Here are a few examples from the past few weeks:

Meridian High School College and Career Fair – Students got to visit with colleges they may be interested in attending to learn more about what is required for admission and what programs of study are offered. They also got to meet professionals in various fields to discuss potential career opportunities.

Carver Middle School Students Investigate a Crime Scene – Ms. Shadwick’s Science classes at Carver Middle School have been learning about genetics. Ms. Shadwick created a crime scene investigation activity for the students in an effort to expose students to the workings of a crime lab, how to properly collect evidence for prosecution, learn the tools and methods of a crime scene investigator, enhance problem-solving skills, use skills such as technology, science, math, communication, reading, English, and writing, learn the history of forensics, and explore the career aspects of a forensic scientist. The students got to investigate the crime scene and use the DNA collected to determine the person guilty of the crime based on the genotype of the suspects.

Ross Collins Health Science Students Perform Pumpkinatomy - Students in the Health Science program at the Ross Collins Career and Technical Center learned about creating and maintaining sterile environments while simulating surgery using a pumpkin.

T.J. Harris Upper Elementary Students Learn about Energy Efficiency – Fourth and fifth grade students at T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School were part of a special presentation about energy efficiency. Tamara Procter of MS Power taught students how to save energy, and she gave them kits to take home to assist with energy conservation. The students were declared “Energy Efficiency Experts” at the end of the program.

Poplar Springs Elementary Fifth Graders Learn about Dance – Thodos Dance Chicago presented the “Imagine Dance” to fifth grade students at Poplar Springs Elementary as a way to teach the students different styles of dance. The interactive program taught students the history of various dance styles, the types of shoes required, facial and body movements of various dance styles, and much more.

Meridian High School Literary Pumpkins

The Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and English Composition classes at Meridian High School participated in the annual Literary Pumpkin Contest. Congratulations to Elizabeth Jackson, Alisia Armstrong, and Tyreaunna Horn for the Best Overall Project; Kaylee Zettler, Tyler Bolden, and Somaii Fikes for the Most Creative Use of Materials; and Tanika Williams, Marlecia Grant, and Aeacia Brown for the Most Unusual Character!

A special thanks to…

*Junior Auxiliary of Meridian – The Junior Auxiliary of Meridian has been distributing the book Amelia Bedelia Hits the Trail to second grade students in the MPSD through the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program. Within the next few weeks, every second grader in the Meridian Public School District will have their very own copy of this book to take home and read with family and friends. Thanks JA!

*TAJ MAHAL - A community organization, TAJ MAHAL, recently donated school supplies to the MPSD Parent Resource Center. They are also going to sponsor two single parent families with two or more children for the Christmas holiday. Schools with students in need of the school supplies or sponsorship can call Gretchen Luvene, Parent Center Coordinator, at 601.484.3646.  

Golden Apple Award Nominations

MPSD is pleased to have six teachers from our district awarded Golden Apples since the program began at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. The Golden Apple Awards will continue this year, so nominate your favorite teacher by visiting either or and clicking on the Golden Apple logo.

Nominations can be submitted by parents, faculty, or community members, as well as past and present students, so let’s use this opportunity to highlight the talent in our District!


Come Visit Us!

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


Magnolia Middle School “Meet the Bears” and PTO Meeting

Thursday, November 5 – 6:00 p.m.


MPSD Academic and Behavioral All-Stars Event
Friday, November 6

Ray Stadium

Students with high academic and behavioral performance for the first nine weeks will be rewarded with a fun day at “The Ray!”


Meridian High School Poetry Out Loud Competition

Friday, November 6 – 4:00 p.m.

MHS Auditorium

Everyone is invited to the Poetry Out Loud Competition and admission is free.


Oakland Heights Elementary School Reading Fair

Friday, November 6

Students in first through fifth grades will participate in the Reading Fair.


Oakland Heights Elementary School Reading is Fundamental

Friday, November 6 – 9:00 a.m.


Poplar Springs Elementary School Third Grade Field Trip to Soule Steam Festival
Friday, November 6


T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School Canned Food Drive Ends

Friday, November 6

Friday, November 6 is the last day of the canned food drive.


Meridian High School Administers the SAT

Saturday, November 7


Crestwood Elementary School Reading Fair Boards Due

Monday, November 9


Meridian High School National Honor Society “Turkey Feathers” Fundraiser for L.O.V.E.’s Kitchen

Monday, November 9 through Thursday, November 19


Poplar Springs Elementary School PTA Book Fair

Monday, November 9 through Friday, November 13


Poplar Springs Elementary School Hosts Visiting Artist Richelle Putnam

Tuesday, November 10

Students in fourth grade will work with visiting artist Richelle Putnam.


Poplar Springs Elementary School PTA Meeting

Tuesday, November 10 – 6:00 p.m.


T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Explore Field Trip to Mitchell Farms

Tuesday, November 10


Meridian High School Picture Re-Takes

Wednesday, November 11

Students in grades 9 through 11 will have the opportunity to re-take school pictures.


Poplar Springs Elementary School Veterans Day Celebration
Wednesday, November 11 – 9:00 a.m.


Crestwood Elementary School Reading Fair

Thursday, November 12

8:00 a.m. – Reading Fair Judging

1:00 p.m. – Reading Fair Awards


Crestwood Elementary School Thanksgiving “Lunch and Learn”

Thursday, November 12

11:30 a.m. – Third grade

12:00 p.m. – Fourth Grade

12:30 p.m. – Fifth Grade

Students and their parents will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Lunch as well as learn important information about literacy.


Magnolia Middle School Thanksgiving Lunch

Thursday, November 12

Students in sixth grade will participate in the special Thanksgiving Lunch with their parents.


Meridian High School Senior Trip to Mississippi State University

Thursday, November 12


Oakland Heights Elementary School Thanksgiving Lunch

Thursday, November 12

Students in pre-kindergarten through second grade will participate in the special Thanksgiving Lunch with their parents.


Poplar Springs Elementary School Thanksgiving Lunch

Thursday, November 12

Students in pre-kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grade will participate in the special Thanksgiving Lunch with their parents.


T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School Thanksgiving Lunch

Thursday, November 12

Students in SPED, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten will participate in a special Thanksgiving lunch with their parents.


T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Art Club Meeting
Thursday, November 12 – Until 4:30 p.m.


Crestwood Elementary School Class Pictures

Friday, November 13


T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School PBIS Celebration

Friday, November 13


West Hills Elementary School “Reading is Fundamental” Program

Friday, November 13


Poplar Springs Elementary School Science Fair Saturday

Saturday, November 14 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Poplar Springs Auditorium

MPSD in the News…

First Robotics Club at Northwest Middle School off to Strong Start

National Company Dances for Students at Poplar Springs

Taking a Pledge to be Drug Free

Meridian, Weems Ready for Clash Against Terry

Petal Stuns Meridian in Double OT

Golden Apple Winner (Rhonda Burrage) Building Rapport with Her Students

MLT’s Camelot Opens Tonight (Cast Includes MPSD Staff and Students)

Petal Up Next for Meridian

MHS Records Win Despite Facing Adversity

Meridian Stuns Brandon

MHS Hosts Region III Marching Festival

MPSD Board Meeting Agenda

Mississippi School Attendance & Funding

Meridian Trying to Lock Up Playoff Appearance

The First Tee Comes to Meridian Public Schools

MPSD Volunteers Needed

Meridian Set for Rivalry Game with Oak Grove

Meridian High Well Represented in All Star Games

MHS Preps for Big Rivalry Game with Oak Grove

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