Superintendent's CornerDelesicia Martin, Ed.D.Greetings and welcome to the Superintendent’s Corner! In this special "corner" of our district website, I like to post regular blogs about all the great things happening in our school district. Through these posts, I hope you will identify ways you can join us in celebrating the success of our students and understand how you can be more involved with helping our students excel. I also encourage you to communicate with us via Twitter, Facebook, the Schoolway mobile app, and School messengerI invite you to check this corner regularly to see good news headlines and photos of positive events that highlight our efforts to provide an engaging and empowering environment that ensures excellence for our students!My best,Delesicia MartinFriday, October 13, 2017: Head Start Awareness Month/Early Childhood Education
Friday, October 6, 2017: Congratulations on a Fantastic First Nine Weeks!
Friday, September 29: National College Savings Month
Friday, September 22: Cultivating Leadership in Hinds County School District
Friday, September 15: Professional Development in HCSD
Friday, September 8: Welcome, New AdministratorsOctober 13, 2017: Head Start Awareness Month/Early Childhood Education
October is filled with calls to raise awareness about several important issues. From breast cancer to bullying prevention, this month we have myriad opportunities to lend a helping hand by giving of our time and talent.
This month we can also reflect on how we are reaching out to some of the smallest hands in our community because October is also Head Start Awareness Month. Head Start is a storied program that has benefited so many of our students and cemented the need for early childhood education.
Over more than five decades, Head Start has served as a lifeline for millions of children and families. Byram is the home of the Hinds County Project Head Start Center, which serves as a feeder school to the Hinds County School District. Studies show that early childhood education interventions positively impact high school graduation rates, which is why we continue to invest in public Pre-K classrooms in our district.
By providing a solid educational foundation through quality early childhood education, our students will be able to build critical 21st century skills that prepare them for college and careers. If you want to learn more about our Pre-K program, contact us at (601) 857-5222. For more information on the Hinds County Human Resource Agency Head Start program, visit https://hchra.org/programs/head-start/.
October 6, 2017: Congratulations on a Fantastic First Nine Weeks!
Congratulations students, parents, faculty, and staff! We have made it through the first nine weeks of the 2017-2018 school year. The first nine weeks is always a significant milestone that is accompanied by a flurry of curricular and extracurricular activity.
Adjusting to the first nine weeks of school can be challenging; some of our students are experiencing their first year in middle or high school (or first year in school for our youngest scholars!), and many of our parents are sending their children to new schools to meet new teachers and make new friends. With so much going on in our academic, professional, and personal lives, we can overlook the great strides we have been able to make in just a little more than two months.
With one nine weeks completed, we have about six months (27 weeks or approximately 135 weekdays) left in hallways and classrooms to walk together on this collective journey to excellence. It brings me tremendous joy to witness the progress and development of our students over the first quarter of the academic year, and I have no doubt that we will continue to achieve greatness throughout the rest of the year.
Friday, September 29, 2017: National College Savings Month
September is National College Savings Month! Saving for college is an issue that isn’t discussed until a student is in high school, but the rising cost of tuition makes it important for families to start planning for college early.
Hinds County School District students are achievers, and we are committed to helping out students identify ways to pay for the postsecondary educational option that meets their needs. Here are a few tips to help your family start saving for college.
- Start Early: According to Findaid.org, saving $50 per month from the day a child is born could give you $20,000 by the time he or she turns 17, assuming a 7% return on investment. However, it is never too early or too late to start saving for your child’s education!
- Encourage Your Child to Participate in Extracurricular Activities: Colleges and universities often award scholarships or extra funding to students who participate in the band, choir, or a sports program. The investment of time and hard work now could lead to valuable scholarship and fellowship opportunities.
- Prioritize your Finances: If at possible, try to make saving for college as a priority instead of an option. Even a small monthly amount can provide a good foundation to pay for college tuition after graduation. Creating a household budget can help you identify areas you can save money. (Here’s a great household budget template to try!).
- Research Affordable College Options: There are many “value” schools—colleges and universities that exceptionally prepare students for a reasonable cost, including community colleges, land grant institutions, and historically Black or Latino colleges or universities.
- Visit Get2College: Get2College is a great resource for college admission and financial aid advice. The program offers students and families a comprehensive program to help plan, prepare, and pay for college. Get2College has been a great partner for our schools, helping many of our families identify the right college “fit” and find ways to pay for it.
- Talk to Your Counselor. School counselors are a great resource for scholarship information and regularly receive information on programs that help families prepare for college.
One of our goals is for every Hinds County School District student graduates high school and is ready for college or a career. Being ready for college also means having the resources to cover the costs of college, which is why saving for college is so important.
Friday, September 22, 2017: Cultivating Leadership in Hinds County School District
Contrary to popular belief, leaders are created, not born. In Hinds County School District, we aim to cultivate leaders, which is why we are intentional about providing an array of leadership development and service learning opportunities for students of all ages.
The future of the communities in our district, our state, and our nation is being shaped within our district as young people from Utica, Raymond, Terry, Learned, Edwards, Bolton, or Byram develop skills and realize their individual path to becoming lifelong leaders and learners. The annual Teen Summit is a shining example of student leadership development in the district. Earlier this week, more than 250 middle and high school students gathered at the Hinds Community College Eagle Ridge Conference Center for the eighth consecutive year to learn how to make positive choices that lead to successful outcomes
Mr. John Neal, our associate superintendent of community relations, works diligently to develop and support school and district level opportunities for students to build on their leadership, teamwork, communication, and empathy skills. The theme of this year’s teen summit, Beyond this Moment – The Possible Dream, perfectly captures our focus on preparing students for college and careers and exploring new possibilities.
The summit featured breakout sessions on important topics for our young people, such as the consequences of driving under the influence, how to prepare for college, and the importance of overcoming fear to achieve success. Our community partners also provided students with information on how to help them plan and set goals for their future.
The summit would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and partners: United Way of the Capital Area, Star Services, Walmart, Dollar Tree, Kroger, BankPlus, Members Exchange Credit Union, Durham School Services, and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.
For more information on the district’s efforts to provide leadership and extracurricular development opportunities for students, contact John Neal at (601) 857-7008 or explore the individual school pages on our website.
Friday, September 15, 2017: Professional Development in HCSD
Throughout the year, we dedicate time (usually, these are breaks for our students) to working with our staff to help boost their effectiveness in the classroom and ensure they have access to the most current trends and information in education. Research shows that students perform better with the teachers who gained a deeper understanding of how students learn, which is one of the core reasons we set aside time for professional development. These full- and half-days together as an educational unit also afford us an opportunity to share our individual and collective successes and work together to move forward as a unit on our journey to excellence.
During the course of a year, professional development will take many forms, ranging from teachers sharing best practices and effective lesson plans, experts presenting new classroom management skills, or staff learning about updates to our information technology systems. However our educational professional development may look, its focus is to help refresh, reshape, and refocus our staff so all of our schools meet the academic, socioemotional, and developmental needs of each of the unique young scholars in Hinds County School District. Professional development is essential to growth; new skills are required to reach milestones and move us closer to achieving our school and district level goals. To that end, our professional development efforts are not limited to scheduled meetings with principals, teachers, superintendents, and other staff. We seek to provide ongoing opportunities for our staff to improve their skills and explore new ways to engage students through a range of live and virtual professional development options.
If you want to learn more about our professional development activities, please contact us at (601) 857-5222, and if you are an educator interested in joining our team of talented instructors and leaders, visit our employment page to view our current opportunities and begin an online application.
Friday, September 8, 2017: Welcome, New Administrators!
Our administrators play a critical role in paving the way for our students on our journey to excellence. Embracing new ideas, new perspectives, and new personalities are a key part of a sustainable growth and development, which is why we are extremely excited about the new additions to our school and district administrative teams. Each of these individuals brings a vast amount of experience to their positions, but more importantly, they have exhibited an unwavering dedication to molding and shaping young scholars.
Adding these new faces to our devoted faculty and staff will help multiply our efforts to help our students nurture their talents, identify their passions, and fulfill their potential. If you happen to see any of our new administrators or other new members of the Hinds County School District family, please take the time to welcome them to our community and share your ideas and perspectives on ways we can continue to improve our schools and support our students. Together, we can all engage and empower our young people, ensuring they excel now and well into the future.Cliff Newell, Principal, Terry High School
Cliff Newell has been in education for 24 years where he has been a coach, a teacher, and an administrator. Principal Newell came to Terry as a football and softball coach and Senior Teacher. He then worked at Carver as an assistant principal, Byram Middle School as principal, and for the district as athletic director. His vision for Terry High School is to create a culture that is college and career ready for students and one for staff that grows with the ever-changing educational world that helps students in their search for excellence.
Tracey Gregory, Assistant Principal, Terry High School
Tracey Gregory brings eleven years of experience to Terry High School—seven of those years in an administrative capacity. Tracey has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district level coordinator in the communities of Jackson, Sunflower, Tupelo, and Yazoo City. She is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Jackson State University, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Belhaven, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Delta State University.
John Douglas, Assistant Principal, Terry High School
John Douglas has been in education for over twenty years. Over that time, he has served as a classroom teacher, assistant football coach, head football coach, athletic director, and administrative assistant. He is a native of Meridian, MS and a graduate of Meridian High School. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of West Alabama and his Master’s degree in Education Leadership from Mississippi College. He is married to Angelin Douglass and they have two children, Walker and Reagan.
Dr. Will Smith, Principal, Utica Elementary School
Dr. Will Smith brings over a decade of experience working in rural, suburban, and urban school districts in Mississippi and Georgia, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. A native of the Mississippi Delta, Dr. Smith became the first in his family to graduate from high school and college, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jackson State University. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Arlandra Earl, State and Federal Programs Director
Arlandra Earl joined the district in 2016 as the Assistant Director of Federal Programs and has been promoted to the new State and Federal Programs Director. Arlandra brings a wealth of educational experience and knowledge to the district, working to ensure the efficient use of state and federal grants the HCSD Office of State and Federal Programs to improve student achievement.
Frankie Blackmon, Director of Instruction
Frankie Blackmon comes to the Hinds County School District with over 15 years in education. Frankie has served as a teacher, academic coach, Director of Curriculum and Special Projects, and a Director of Federal Programs. She is a native of Ethel, Mississippi and a graduate of Ethel High School. She received her Bachelor’s and Specialist’s degrees from the University of Mississippi and her Master’s degree from Mississippi Valley State University.
Daryl Jones, Athletic/Activities Director
Coach Daryl Jones comes to the Hinds County School District with 22 years in education. He has served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and athletic director. Daryl earned his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Technology from Jackson State University and a Master’s of Science in Educational Administration from Alcorn State University. He was also a four-year letterman running back at Jackson State University, earning SWAC Freshman of the Year honors in 1985 and All-SWAC honors in 1986. He was also selected to the JSU Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the JSU All-Century Team in 2011. Coach Jones is married to Mona Jones and they have two kids, Daryl Jr. and Alea.