Author Archive for Nicole Thomas

Get Your Spirit On! Homecoming 2017 September 25-29

Homecoming 2017 Dress Up Day ThemesStarkville High School will host 2017 Homecoming Week festivities for grades K-12 September 25-29, and we look forward to a strong show of school spirit throughout the District. 

Dress Up Day Themes 

Pick your favorite letter.  Then when you get to school, spell out a word with your friends. Everyone wears one letter. 

Tuesday – Twin Day!  Twin Day!
Because twins have more fun!  Wear the same outfit as a friend and be twins for the day!

Wednesday – Out Of This World Space Jam Day
Wear SPACE-related clothing or dress like an alien!

Thursday – Where Dreams Come True – Disney Day
Students in grades K-8 may choose their favorite Disney park or character for inspiration.
Freshmen: Magic Kingdom
Sophomores: Epcot
Juniors: Animal Kingdom
Seniors: Hollywood Studios

Friday – Black and Gold Day
Dress like the ultimate Yellow Jacket fan!

While students will be allowed to “dress-up” for spirit day themes, they must come to school dressed appropriately.  Shorts, skirts and/or dresses must be an appropriate length as defined in the student handbook.  No tank tops or other shirts that do not provide full coverage.  Students ARE NOT required to wear khaki or black pants/bottoms or specific color shirts or t’s if they dress up for spirit day.  Students who do not choose to dress according to the theme for the day must wear regular school dress code. 

Save the Dates!
Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally
September 26
6 pm
*Best viewing for parade will be along Main Street between Jackson Street and Washington Street.   
**Join us for a community-wide pep rally on the lawn of the Greensboro Center immediately following the parade.

Homecoming Game vs Northwest Rankin
September 29
7 pm
*Homecoming Queen & Court presented during halftime
*White Out Game

Leader in Me Expands to Parents with Parent University

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District is embracing “The Leader in Me” philosophy to help our students discover their individual greatness as student leaders. 

We invite parents to join us on this leadership journey as your child’s first and best teacher.   

The District has launched Parent University, a series of lunch and learn sessions with parents, to provide information about the universal, timeless principles found in The Leader in Me process, as well as activities you can put into practice at home to teach your student to become a leader.

We encourage parents to look for opportunities to engage your child and ask questions about what he/she is learning. You can find a complete list of the seven healthy habits plus ideas to use at home to involve the whole family in the parents section at .

Imagine Your Ultimate Play Space at Sudduth and West Elementary Schools

The play spaces at Sudduth and West Elementary Schools are the focus of a collaborative effort between the District, Mississippi State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, and Dalhoff Thomas Design of Memphis to upgrade and expand playground spaces.

The project begins with Design Week in the Department of Landscape Architecture as teams of university students develop their own solutions for what could take place in these school/community spaces. Sudduth Elementary will host a charrette on September 5 to involve parents, students, and members of our community in the process to develop fun, creative ideas and solutions to share with university students for their designs. This week-long exercise will culminate with university student project presentations on Friday, September 8. From there, community stakeholders will work with Dalhoff Thomas to produce elements that will compliment extramural/grant funding ventures in an attempt to make our collective dreams into a reality.

As the District explores future joint use agreements designed to increase access to high quality outdoor play areas for families and students in the greater Starkville area, stakeholders are invited to to join us as we discover the possibilities that exist for our community. 

The District welcomes our parents, teachers, administrators, students and others to participate in this process.  

Upcoming Dates & Sessions

Community Charrette & Idea Session with parents, students and community
September 5
4 until 5:30 pm @ Sudduth Elementary School
Parents, teachers, students and community members are invited to attend this come and go event to share ideas, dreams, and visions for the ultimate play space for our students.  We’ll provide the paper and the markers.  We just need your ideas and imagination!

Public Presentations of Play Designs with Q & A sessions
September 8
1 until 3 pm @ Bost Conference Center, Mississippi State University

Solar Eclipse Event & Viewing Permission Form for Students

The Great American Eclipse will be making its way across the entire continental United States on August 21.  This is the first solar eclipse that has been visible across the United States since 1918. With such a monumental event occurring during the school day, the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, working closely with Dr. Jessica Tegt who is the coordinator at the District’s Youth Environmental Science Program and STREAMS, will be conducting a viewing of the event for students who wish to participate in grades 2-8.  Safety is our top priority, and it is important for students and parents to be aware of the precautionary steps the District is implementing for this event and viewing.  

Homemade or ordinary sunglasses are not sufficient ways to view an eclipse, as the reflectivity and polarization are not high enough for viewing in a safe manner. To ensure that each participant is safe, SOCSD will be supplying those who wish to participate with a pair of glasses specifically designed for eclipse viewing. These glasses conform to the transmission requirements of ISO 12312-2, which are filters specifically designed for direct observation of the sun. We will be viewing a partial solar eclipse which will look like a fingernail/crescent shape at its greatest point.  This means that glasses must be kept on at all times during viewing.  Students should never look at the sun without special eye protection, and removing glasses even temporarily may have serious effects on your eyes.

Because of these safety concerns, a parent or guardian signature is required for students to participate in the event using the eclipse glasses. Students who do not complete this form will not be able to participate.  Students in grades 2-8 should bring home a permission form on Thursday.  Please sign it and return it to your child’s school/teacher if you would like for your child to participate in the eclipse viewing.  Parents may also print the permission form and return it to your child’s school/teacher on Friday. 

For more information about the eclipse, check out NASA’s website which provides a guide to this amazing event including activities, resources, broadcasts, safety information and more:


SHS Cheerleaders host Mini Cheer Camp September 9

Have you got Jacket spirit? Come show it with the SHS  Cheerleaders for Cheer Mini Camp!

Cheer Mini Camp —Grades K-6th

WHEN: September 9

TIME: 9 am until 12 pm; Sign-in begins at 8:30 am; Camp begins promptly at 9 am

WHERE: Starkville High School Gymnasium

COST: $30

WHAT: Great opportunity for an introduction to  cheerleading!


               Learn a chant, cheer, and dance.

               Meet the SHS cheerleaders and Buzz

               Be provided bottled water, snacks, and popsicles.

               Receive a Cheer Camp t-shirt & free tickets to high school football game on September 15

               Perform for family and friends at halftime of SHS football game on September 15

               Be taught by current SHS Cheerleaders and supervised by  current program coaches and parents.

 To REGISTER: Please complete and return the registration form to your child’s school office by September 1 with a payment of $30 per  participant. Make checks payable to SHS Cheer Boosters.

Please wear athletic shoes and clothing. Hair must be  pulled back and off the shoulders. For safety purposes no jewelry or gum is permitted. NO refunds  will be given or late registration accepted. If you have any questions, please feel free to  contact Hope Dumas at

For more information or to download a flyer, click on the link below. 

SHS Cheerleading Mini Camp 2017



Expect Excellence Every Day: Redefining our #StarkvilleSpark

Convocation 2017 marked the beginning for a new chapter for SOCSD as Superintendent Eddie Peasant shared an expanded vision for our District that is focused on redefining our #StarkvilleSpark, Expect Excellence Every Day.

Several years ago, this district made a commitment to a common vision…
“Through rigorous and relevant learning experiences in every classroom, Starkville Oktibbeha
School District is sparking the flame of success in our students.”

A worthy goal and a worthy vision. But, in my short time as superintendent, I’ve recognized that Starkville Oktibbeha School District has a depth of potential that demands we think way bigger than just “success.” As we embark on this new school year and the first of my tenure here, I’m asking you to commit to that vision in a new way. Not to merely spark success — better grades, better test scores, more wins, more scholarships. I still expect all those things, but simply as the fruit of something more remarkable. Our potential demands a bigger and broader goal that
surpasses the common benchmarks of mere success. I’m asking you to spark the flame of


It’s defined as the state of being “eminently” good. Unusually good. So good as to “surpass ordinary
It’s a pervasive quality. A big one. An all encompassing one.
To excel in one, or two, or a few areas is good. But it’s not excellence.
Not really.
No, to be characterized as excellent is to excel in not only the few, common and readily
recognized areas, but to excel in the whole. Surpassing ordinary standards in every area, at every
level, every day.
Not just one school, but every school.
Not just this teacher, but every teacher.
Not just a few programs, but every program.
Not just one team, but every team.
Not only one child, but EVERY child.
Only then can we claim to have achieved excellence.

My goal and dream for the Starkville Oktibbeha School District is to earn the moniker of
excellence, without reservations, without excuses, and without exceptions. I want our district to
redefine what it means to be “excellent” across our state. When we say #StarkvilleSpark, it should
mean one thing… unqualified excellence.

How do we ignite that flame of excellence?
It still begins with a spark —one I’m striking with you right now…
Expect excellence every day.
Our potential demands that we expect nothing less than excellence of ourselves. Of our students.
Of our district.
Every day, in every word and action, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to excellence.
And our belief that our students, our teachers and our district can and will achieve it. As we work
together, we expect excellence. As we learn and teach new things, we expect excellence. As we
grow and change and move forward, we expect excellence.

Expect excellence every day.

It’s the unrelenting, unreserved commitment I’m making to you today.
And, it’s the unrelenting, unreserved commitment I’m asking each of you to make to yourselves, to
your staff, to your students and to this district.
You are the #StarkvilleSpark. Through your spark, the flame of excellence ignites.

Now, will our district achieve excellence when our students arrive on August 7? Probably not. The
path to excellence will take time and diligent work. We’ll rely on those areas where we already
excel. We’ll celebrate successes. We’ll continue to identify and pursue change in areas where we
fall short. But, what I hope we will achieve on August 7 and every day after is this unwavering
commitment to expect what we know is possible… excellence. We strike that spark today. And as
the fire of excellence ignites, it can’t help but spread, moving through our administrative team, our
teachers and our schools. Excellence fuels excellence as it moves from program to program, from
classroom to classroom. As the spark touches our students, they will know that excellence is
possible. They will see excellence every day in everything we do. They will learn to expect
excellence every day, because we do.

So, I am asking you to say with me today… This is MY commitment to every student, every day. To
ignite the spark of excellence. And fuel it.

Partnership School project continues to move forward despite delayed start due to rain

A very wet summer has delayed the completion of dirt work required to begin construction on the Starkville Oktibbeha School District-Mississippi State University Partnership School

Bruce Wood, architect for the project, provided an updated bidding and construction schedule to the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School Board of Trustees during its regular August meeting on Tuesday. 

The contract for the dirt work was expected to be completed in September, but a 45-day rain delay has pushed that date back to November. The delay also means the school’s completion date is now spring 2019. 

“There’s a lot of anticipation and excitement about the opening of this new school, and I think we’re all a little disappointed, but the revised schedule gives us some flexibility,” said Eddie Peasant, SOCSD superintendent.  “It definitely eliminates the additional planning required for a move in the middle of the school year, and it will allow us to adequately prepare the building to be ready to welcome students on the first day.” 

The new schedule also extends the construction time from 14 months to 16 months in effort to keep bid prices within the projected budget since a tighter construction schedule could drive up the cost.  

Prior to Tuesday’s board meeting, Wood and others with JH&H Architects met with university and district leaders to review interior finishes, acoustic and audio-visual requirements and science classrooms. 

“We’ve had some really good meetings with JH&H, and we’ve made some adjustments to art and music spaces on the spot to maximize instruction and provide the best learning environment for our students,” said Peasant.  “Our state, our community and our university have invested a lot of resources in this project, and we want to make sure we get it right.”

SOCSD Board to Discuss Superintendent Search at December Board Meeting


starkvilleoktThe Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees will take next steps in the superintendent search process during their regular scheduled board meeting tonight at 6 pm.
McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, the firm selected to conduct the search, will  meet with the board to identify desirable characteristics of the future superintendent, establish appropriate timelines and target dates for the selection process, assist the board in establishing compensation parameters for the final candidate, and develop an announcement of vacancy and advertise the position with the appropriate media and professional organizations.

The board is also expected to discuss potential dates to hear from stakeholders regarding the superintendent search which will be scheduled in January. 

SOCSD school board agendas and minutes can be viewed on our website at in the Quick Links section.


Window Display at Sudduth Elementary School Promotes Kindness

kindnesssudduthStudents at Mississippi State University recently completed a community installation project at Sudduth Elementary School as a symbol of the school’s core values.   

The beautiful window artwork was inspired by two quotes: “Plant Kindness, Grow Love” and “Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti.”

For the installation, the students cut out the designs by hand on vinyl and decorated the school’s hall windows.

“The windows are just wonderful,” said school counselor Mary Ruth Caradine as she admired the students’ work.  “Sudduth strives to create a warm and welcoming community for  our students and all who enter campus, and the windows really reflect that.”  

Caradine said she, her fellow counselors and school’s entire faculty and staff also teach character and leadership skills in an effort to develop the whole person- a person who understands his/her role in our community as a leader.  

“The design perfectly captures who we are and who we aspire to be,” added Caradine.  “The windows are a visible, beautiful reminder that all of us have the power to share the light of love and kindness to everyone.”  

For more photos and information on the project, click here


Third Graders at HWS Show Love and Kindness for Classmate

turmanserviceWith only seven days until Christmas break, Stella Turman’s third grade classroom at Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School looks a little like Santa’s workshop.  Her 24 students, just like Santa’s elves, are working quickly to fill the orders of the Christmas season. 

While some students work with scissors to chop wood, which is actually popsicle sticks for a tiny sled, others weave beads and string to create candy cane ornaments to trim the tree. 

A student-directed assembly line cuts out fairy bookmarks and then packages them for sale. 

“Make sure you include one of each design,” directed Addison Vickers. 

Brice Welch makes quick work of a paper wallet to hold Leader bucks the students earn for demonstrating leadership skills which can be used at the school store.      

“I don’t need the pattern anymore,”  Brice proudly proclaims as he finished his last one of the day.  He’s mastered his craft.   

Ms. Turman watches over the operation and mans the hot glue gun station, assisting students one by one as they glue the eyes and nose to their snowman craft.

“Ms. Turman showed us how to use our pencil as a tool to keep from burning our fingers with the hot glue,” said Mary Reeves Gordon as she carefully decorated her snowman’s face. 

The production, however, isn’t without a real purpose.  Ms. Turman’s students decided to do a service project for the season as part of The Leader in Me program, which teaches students about the seven habits of highly effective leaders, and they chose to show their love for fellow classmate, Gabe Valentine, who was born with a rare genetic condition – Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). 

“Gabe is near and dear to our hearts, and it is such a joy to watch this class work together for a cause they really believe in,” said Turman.  “Several of the students in our class have been Gabe’s classmate since they entered kindergarten together at Sudduth.  They know how serious his condition is, and they take the best care of him.” 

Once her students decided on their project, Ms. Turman sought the help of fellow teacher Tammy Gammill who has experience with service learning opportunities.  Together they worked with the students to select the festive crafts that would be simple, yet creative enough for the students to really enjoy while also assuming responsibility for their project. 

With the deadline for the project’s completion looming, the students have really demonstrated the seven habits of highly effective leaders from identifying problems and setting goals to learning to put first things first. 

“Every Friday we have a special time to celebrate students who have met behavior goals for the week,” said Turman.  “This particular Friday we were not able to do that because we needed to work more on our project to meet the goals we had set for ourselves.  The students understood that we had to put first things first and take care of our job.”

Gabe’s classmates have spent the past week sharing information with their school about EB and how students can help support EB research and awareness with the purchase of an ornament, bookmark, or another hand-made craft. 

“His skin is delicate like a butterfly, and it tears easily,” explained Mary Reeves.   

Wednesday, Gabe offered his glowing approval for the hand-crafted items as his friends churned out orders trying to meet their production goal of about 100 items each day. 

“The sleds look really good,” said Gabe as he inspected one fresh off the construction table.   

With limited supplies and a full school-schedule, it is unlikely that this team of talented third graders will be able to keep up with demand for their hand-crafted items, but you can still show your support for EB research with a donation to their campaign at .

“Children have such kind hearts,” said Turman.  “They really show us how to love one another.” 





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