Thursday, February 18, 2010
Holly High gets $27,141 grant
By SUE WATSON
Holly Springs High School saw its goal of partnering with the community to produce a quality education pushed forward another notch Friday.
English teacher and basketball coach Crystal Stewart was chosen for recognition by the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation (MCEI) and her class now has 20 new Macbook laptops and a Bretford computer cart.
Dozens of students, including a group of high school students who peer tutor third grade students in the use of technology, attended the meeting in the school library.
Susan Bunch, director of teacher quality and student achievement at the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation, said two schools out of 10 working with the organization were chosen to each receive $27,141 worth of equipment - Port Gibson and Holly Springs.
The 10 schools applied for the grant, funded by AT&T, and two were chosen last year and two this year. All totaled, AT&T is providing about $475,000 over a two year period for equipment used in innovative education programs.
“We are here to support and move forward the goals of the State Board of Education,” Bunch said. “They are – reading on third grade level by the third grade, improved graduation rate statewide and to improve student performance on national assessments.”
MCEI, funded by the Kellogg Foundation, is a nonprofit that works with 15 districts in the Mississippi Delta.
High school principal Cedric Richardson explained the district’s mission to students.
“Our mission is to offer a high-quality education and we cannot offer that alone,” he said. “We work with community resources to make sure you receive a quality education.”
Richardson named students, parents, local businesses, technology, Rust College, Ole Miss, Northeast and Northwest community colleges, and community leaders as resources.
“With all the resources available, we believe if we work together we can be a top school in the State of Mississippi,” he said. “We want to make sure you as students know our goal is for all to partner with the school and community to offer the education you deserve.”
Holly Springs School District is one of a few schools with the Power Schools Student Database Program, Richardson said.
Stewart was presented the equipment by surprise announcement. She said she was “totally shocked.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about technology and to use technology in the classroom,” she said.
Numerous staffers were on hand for the celebration including Joseph Selman, director of technology. and assistant Tanesha Scott; Cheryl Bass, counselor; Eileen Dowsing and Irene Walton, deputy superintendent and superintendent; Ebony Williams, senior sponsor; school trustee Von Autry; alderman Calvin James; and Takiyah Lymon with MCEI.
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