Dean Provence Endowment Grant Winners Announced

Pictured l-r: Tammy Almand, Katie Kidd, Tracy Vainisi, Julie Eaton, Mary Beth Muncie, and Keith Conlee, President of Endowment Board. Not Pictured: Lee Allen Holt.

The Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education Board has announced the allocation of funds totaling nearly $12,800 to teachers in the New Albany School District (NASD). In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the awards, this year grants were directed to New Albany Middle School, New Albany High School and NASTUC.  Endowment funding will be used for equipment and materials in the classroom that are not typically covered by the school budget.

The Endowment for Excellence in Education was begun in 1986 as the vision of School Board member Dean Provence. Provence, a New Albany native, was an active volunteer in both school and community activities. Through his volunteer efforts, he recognized the need for additional funding in the schools for projects and classroom materials, and was instrumental in establishing the endowment fund. Following his death, the locally supported endowment fund was renamed in memory of Provence and has continued to provide needed funding to classrooms in the New Albany Schools for more than twenty-five years. Since 1986, the Endowment has provided approximately $359,000 in support to the NASD.

The endowment is funded through individual and corporate contributions and fundraising events sponsored by the Endowment Board. Contributions to the Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education are accepted throughout the year and may be mailed to New Albany Schools, Attention: Melanie Anderson, 301 Hwy. 15 North, New Albany, MS 38652.

Project – Applicant – School – Amount Awarded

Special Effects Lighting Production, Mary Beth Muncie, New Albany High School, $8,439

INAYEMS News, Tracy Vainisi & Julie Eaton, New Albany Middle School, $2,600

STEM Robotics, Lee Allen Holt & Tracy Vainisi, New Albany Middle School, $933

Flexible Seating, Tammy Almand, NASTUC, $312

Teen Life Skills Series, Katie Kidd, NASTUC, $499



Career & Technical Center Receives ARC Grant

Construction students J.B. Hill (left) and Kenley Olson (right) stand with one of the band saws that was purchased with the Appalachian Regional Commission grant.

The New Albany School of Career and Technical Education is the recipient of an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant award.  The total allocation for the grant award is $110,000.  ARC funding totals $78,250 with the Mississippi Department of Education’s match being $21,750 and the local school district match being $10,000.

The grant allowed for the purchasing of equipment in three program areas at the Career and Technical Center.  The program areas are Automotive Service, Engineering, and Construction.

The Automotive Service program will receive more than $46,000 in new equipment including an alignment system and wheel balancer.

The Engineering program will receive approximately $35,000 in equipment that includes a laser engraver, an interactive display board, drill press, and drone.  “The laser engraver is a great addition to our program,” explained Instructor Latrina Bynum Walker.  “Students will get real world work experience and be able to engrave on wood, textiles, acrylic, and some metals.”

The Construction program has received and installed nearly $30,000 in equipment which includes a band saw, shaper, planer, sander, jointer, and drill press.

“We are excited to be able to continue to provide our students with current technology and equipment,” said Lance Evans, Superintendent.  “We want to insure that students are equipped for the work force after completing programs at the Career and Technical Center.”

Teachers from New Albany Elementary Attend Special Literacy Training

Thirteen teachers from New Albany Elementary School (NAES) recently participated in the Brainspring Phonics First© course in Ripley – an Orton-Gillingham-based training offered to teachers in districts participating in the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) by the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Special Education (MDE OSE).  Thirty-six school districts throughout Mississippi participate in the SSIP on a voluntary basis, with a focus on improving outcomes for ALL students through high quality professional development for teachers in effective, evidence-based literacy instructional strategies.

Participants have expressed their excitement about being able to incorporate these multi-sensory strategies into their classrooms.

“We are excited about the opportunity for our teachers to go through the Phonics First© training,” said Jamey Wright, prinicipal of NAES.  “We feel that training in evidence-based instructional strategies, such as Orton-Gillingham, will enable our staff to better meet the needs of all learners.”

The 5-day Phonics First© course in Ripley was the first of many planned throughout the state during the 2017-2018 school year to teach multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham-based strategies to teachers to help them meet the needs of struggling students.  Orton-Gillingham is an approach often used with students diagnosed with dyslexia.  Having classroom teachers trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach ensures that teachers know and can use instructional strategies that research has shown help students learn to read.

Several more teachers from NAES are registered to attend upcoming Phonics First© trainings as well.  For more information about the Brainspring Phonics First© training being offered by the MDE OSE, please call the MS Department of Education at (601) 359-3498.

Walmart Truck Drivers Raise $1,000 for New Albany High School

The New Albany transportation office has chosen New Albany High School to receive a $1,000 donation as part of Walmart’s commitment to education.  Private Fleet truck drivers for Walmart – already among the safest drivers in the country – drove extra carefully during the week from July 22 through July 28, 2017.  For every accident-free mile they drove during that week, the Walmart Foundation made a financial contribution to local schools.
The Walmart Foundation is donating one cent for each accident-free mile driven by the drivers at each Walmart transportation office.  A school in the home region of each transportation office will receive at least $1,000 and as much as $5,000, based on the safety performance of local drivers.  During this year’s program, Walmart Transportation offices nationwide contributed over $148,000 to schools in their communities.
“This is just one of the many ways Walmart supports education across the country,” said David Simmons, general transportation manager at the New Albany Walmart distribution center.  “It’s also a great way to engage all of our drivers in raising money for our local schools.  This program serves as a great reminder to each of us that children are returning to classes and all drivers need to watch carefully for school buses and school children.”
Walmart’s Private Fleet is one of the largest in the United States and its more than 72 offices, including 8,300 drivers, supporting more than 4,500 Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and Neighborhood Markets in the U.S.

NAES Reading Fair Winners

Front row l-r: Wesley McLeroy, Heidee Sanford, Julianna Langley, Landon Evans, Prarthana Patel; second row l-r: Kailey Harris, Dawson Horn, Kemp Smith, Colby Anne Pickens, Ansley Coleman; back row l-r: Kate Ladner, Wyatt Taylor, Sam Mallette, Metlek Parida
Front row l-r: Bailey Cook, Macy Ligon, Gwen Ivy, Lilly Shannon, Miracle Hurd; back row l-r: Mason Tate, Jack Prather, Lucy King, Heidi Clayton Chanapon Weaver, Paxton Weaver. Not pictured: Joseph Petty, Claire Adkins, Samuel McClure, and Caurie Clayton.


The Annual Reading Fair was held at New Albany Elementary School on Thursday, October 19.  The following winners were announced:

Division A – Kindergarten – Individual Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Wesley McLeroy

2nd Place:  Kailey Harris

Division B – 1st Grade – Individual Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Heidee Sanford

2nd Place: Dawson Horn

3rd Place:  Kate Ladner

Division C – 2nd Grade – Individual Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Julianna Langley

2nd Place:  Kemp Smith

3rd Place:  Wyatt Taylor

Division D – 3rd Grade – Individual Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Landon Evans

2nd Place:  Colby Anne Pickens

3rd Place:  Sam Mallette

Division E – 4th/5th Grade – Individual Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Prarthana Patel

2nd Place:  Annsley Coleman

3rd Place:  Metlek Parida

Division H – Grades 3-5  – Informational Nonfiction

1st Place:  Lilly Shannon

2nd Place:  Miracle Hurd

3rd Place:  Joseph Petty

Division K – Grades PreK-2 –  Group Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Bailey Cook & Macy Ligon

2nd Place:  Gwen Ivy, Claire Adkins, Samuel McClure

Division L – Grades 3-5 – Group Literary Fiction

1st Place:  Mason Tate, Lucy King, & Jack Prather

2nd Place:  Chanapon Weaver & Paxton Weaver

3rd Place:  Heidi Clayton & Caurie Clayton