Harris Named STAR Student

Sarah Kathryn Harris has been named STAR Student for the 2017-2018 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program.

The New Albany High School senior will be honored during the annual Education Celebration on April 12, 2018, at the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson.

Sponsors for this prestigious event and the Mississippi Economic Council are:  AT&T; Atmos Energy; BancorpSouth; Barksdale Management; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi; Cooperative Energy, Electric Cooperative of Mississippi; Entergy Mississippi; Ergon, Inc.; Ingalls Shipbuilding; Mississippi Power Company; Nissan North America, Inc.; Sanderson Farms, Inc.; Trustmark National Bank; Walmart; and Yates Construction.  Additional local support for the STAR program is provided by MEC members from communities across the state.

STAR Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence. Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student, explained Vickie Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations. “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors,” she said.

Harris is the daughter of Matt & JJ Harris.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Government, Spanish Club, National Technical Honor Society, Technology Student Association, and FBLA.  Harris is an honor roll student and has received many academic awards.  She is a member of the NAHS soccer team.  She participates in the Northeast Mississippi Youth Foundation and is a graduate of the Union County Leadership Academy.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.  Harris chose Gladys Pounders as her STAR teacher.

 

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

 

 

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.

New Albany School District Promotes National Dropout Prevention Month During October

October is National Dropout Prevention Month, a time to focus on increasing awareness of the long-term effects on students, the economy, and society when students drop out of school. National Dropout Prevention Month challenges our nation to become better informed about how to prevent students from dropping out of school.

The New Albany School District is committed to student achievement, student attendance, and dropout prevention this school year and in the coming years.

To promote awareness and better prepare for putting dropout prevention measures in place, a team from the National Dropout Prevention Center visited New Albany High School (NAHS) in the spring of 2017 for the purpose of interviewing staff and collecting data.  This team prepared a report for the high school which offered ideas and strategies for improving the dropout rate.

Dr. Mark Wilson, who is considered an expert in dropout prevention, conducted a two-day session with school administrators and counselors on specific strategies each school could use in their dropout prevention plans.

“Our district dropout prevention team has worked very hard to create a dropout prevention plan for our district,” said Superintendent Lance Evans.  “This is an ongoing process where our team meets on a regular basis to report on progress and seek input.”

Evans credited the high school for their work with students on credit recovery, as well as the work the elementary and middle schools are doing to insure that dropout prevention starts in the early years of a student’s education.

John Ferrell, NAHS Principal, explained that several students graduated in May 2017 because of the credit recovery opportunities that had been made available to them.  He also noted that students that are juniors and seniors have been identified that are behind a grade level or more in school.  The counselors are working with these students on an individual basis to develop a plan on completing credit recovery courses so that they can graduate on time with their age level peers.

The decision to drop out of school is not due to one single factor. It is the result of a process that often begins years before the actual event. Communities that understand the life-long impact for students who drop out of school and that work together to support at-risk students, however, can help decrease the likelihood that students will drop out of school. Begun early, effective prevention initiatives are the result of community-wide efforts that involve families, businesses, faith-based organizations, and schools.

National Dropout Prevention Month encourages public, private and nonprofit entities to raise awareness of the issue and encourage all students to stay in school for the brighter future it means.

The Alliance for Excellent Education reported that, on average, non-graduates earn $8,000 less per year than high school graduates; rely more heavily on public health services; are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system; are more likely to rely on various sources of public assistance and welfare; often experience quality-of-life challenges as a result of lower income levels and higher rates of public dependence; and are less likely to vote, have poorer health, and have shorter life expectancies than graduates.

“We understand that dropout prevention is a commitment and partnership between the schools, community, businesses, and families,” Evans emphasized.   “We are working hard to make sure that the schools are working hard to increase our graduation rate and lower the number of dropouts in the New Albany School District.”

Everett Takes Part in National Youth Leadership Forum

Maggie Jo Everett, a sophomore at New Albany High School, participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine from July 22-30 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Outstanding high school students from across the nation took part in this unique career development opportunity.  The forum sessions were held in nine cities across the United States and introduced young scholars to the many challenges and career options in the field of medicine.

Throughout the nine-day program, students were introduced to emerging issues in public health, medical ethics, research, and general practice.  Site visits to medical schools and clinical facilities exposed the next generation of medical professionals to the real world of medicine.  A highlight of the forum was a simulation that enabled students to test their knowledge as they triaged injured patients in a mass casualty disaster scenario.

Students who attended the forum were nominated by teachers and guidance counselors, based on their demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, and interest in medicine.

“The program provides an important behind-the-scenes perspective on medical careers,” said Jan A. Sikorsky, Ph.D., Vice President of Education for NYLF Medicine.  “This is a critical time for high school student to begin exploring their career paths, just prior to immersing themselves in college coursework.”

NYLF Medicine is part of the Envision family of programs, which enable students of all ages to explore their interest and experience learning beyond the classroom.  Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship, and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.