SHS RoboJackets sink the competition in SeaPerch South Regional Championship

The Starkville High School RoboJackets added another title to their already impressive list on Saturday.  The team earned first and second place honors at the SeaPerch South Regional competition held on the campus of Mississippi State University. 

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that trains teachers to implement the hands-on aspect of engineering and tool development in order to create a research experience for their students.

SHS defeated the reigning SeaPerch champion to claim their first SeaPerch championship with a dominant performance time of 2 minutes, 30 seconds in the underwater challenge course.  

With the win, the five-time state champion RoboJackets are the only high school team in the country to win a BEST Robotics Regional Championship and a SeaPerch Regional Championship. 

Despite a mechanical failure and two-minute penalty, a second RoboJackets team resurfaced and finished second in the challenge. 

As part of the competition, students were required to build a SeaPerch ROV using basic skills in ship and submarine design to perform multiple independent tasks that tested their ability to operate their SeaPerches with finesse.

The course consisted of three stations in which the vehicles have to maneuver and actuate equipment on the pool floor.

As the South’s top two teams and scorers, both RoboJackets teams advance to the 2017 National SeaPerch Challenge which will be held in May on the campus of Georgia Tech University in Atlanta where over 100 teams from across the country will compete in a juried poster competition and in-pool technical events with their SeaPerch ROV’s.

SeaPerch South is hosted by Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering.

SHS STAR Student, STAR Teacher Announced

Starkville High School’s 2017 STAR Student is Jay Travis.  Jay, who earned a 35 on his ACT, selected SHS English teacher Amy Bordelon as his STAR Teacher, recognizing her as the teacher who most impacted his high school career.

The Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program recognizes high school seniors in Mississippi who earn the highest ACT score in their graduation school.  The STAR student then selects his/her STAR teacher.

Jay, who often got into trouble as a fourth grade student for hiding his library book inside his textbook so he could continue to read during science class, credits Ms. Bordelon with re-igniting his love of reading during her ninth grade English class. 

“She introduced to me to a lot of literature,” said Jay.   “And she got me into Shakespeare.  She’s really passionate about it, and her class really helped sustain my success as a high school student.”    

Ms. Bordelon admits she loves sharing Shakespeare with her students, calling it almost magical. 

“Shakespeare does the work.  I just bring it to them,” Bordelon said.  “Jay was definitely always an asset to class discussions, and his passion for language and literature really shines through his writing.” 

This marks Ms. Bordelon’s first selection as a STAR Teacher.

“I am very honored and humbled especially since I taught Jay when he was just a freshman,” said Bordelon.  “My ultimate goal as a teacher is to have a lasting, positive impact on my students, and I’m just thrilled that Jay remembers my class.”

Jay, a finalist for Mississippi State University’s most prestigious scholarship program, is still considering numerous college offers to decide where she will attend college, but he plans to study English or economics. 

Jay and Ms. Bordelon will be honored during a luncheon hosted by the Mississippi Economic Council and the M.B. Swayze Foundation recognizing all of the STAR Students and STAR Teachers in the state in April.

Welcome Reception for Dr. Eddie Peasant Scheduled for March 30

SOCSD’s incoming superintendent Dr. Eddie Peasant will return to the District on March 30 for the first time since he was hired for a welcome reception which will be held at the Greensboro Center from 5 until 6:30 pm. 

The Board of Trustees named Peasant the District’s new superintendent on February 28. 

“I’m really excited about this opportunity to lead the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District,” said Peasant.  “I knew within minutes of visiting the first school and talking with invested stakeholders that this is a District rich with excellence and ready to take the next step forward, and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”The board voted unanimously to select Peasant, a former Mississippi Administrator of the Year, to lead the District.  Peasant is currently assistant superintendent of the Tupelo School District, where he oversees secondary education, athletics, technology, dual enrollment and discipline.  Peasant has also served as principal of Clinton High School and Gulfport Middle School.

The board agreed Peasant’s successes and experiences at the secondary level make him uniquely qualified for the District’s top position as it prepares to begin construction on a new sixth and seventh grade school that combines the resources of SOCSD and Mississippi State University and promises to reimagine middle school and teacher training in Mississippi and beyond.

“He’s been a highly-effective administrative leader in large, diverse school districts like SOCSD where academics, arts, athletics and extra-curricular offerings are equally important to a student’s comprehensive educational experience,” said former school board president Jenny Turner.  “He’s also very familiar with the transition from middle school to high school, and he’s very knowledgeable about how ninth grade academies can improve student achievement which falls in line with the District’s future plans for Armstrong Middle School.”

The consolidation plan for the new District calls for Armstrong Middle School to become a preparatory school for eighth and ninth grade students after the MSU-SOCSD Partnership School opens for sixth and seventh grade students. 

“The District is already considered a model for successful consolidation, and the potential that exists through the partnership with Mississippi State University and a new school for middle grades is limitless,” said Peasant. “I’ve been doing my homework studying the plans for the new school, but like everyone else, I can’t wait for construction to get started.  I know the greater Starkville community is ready to see the bricks and mortar of this project begin to take shape.”

As high school principal, Peasant wrote “Improving Student Achievement: Can 9th Grade Academies Make a Difference?,” which was published in the International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership.

“The consolidation plan offers us a wonderful opportunity to rethink our approach to preparing eighth and ninth graders for high school and to provide a more nurturing environment and really gets them ready to make the transition to high school,” said Peasant.  

Peasant spent an entire day in the district as part of the interview process, visiting schools and meeting with four stakeholder focus groups before interviewing with the school board. 

Peasant earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s degree from Mississippi College. 

“It’s an exciting time for our community and our district as we prepare to break ground on one of the most innovative schools from programs to facilities for 6th and 7th grades in the southeast,” added Turner.  “We’re ready to take the next step forward with Dr. Peasant.”

Peasant’s official start date is July 1.

SUDDUTH LOVES TO PLAY

Sudduth Elementary School has opened its playground before school each morning to provide students with another opportunity to experience outdoor play.

Sudduth Elementary PTO has installed a temporary fence around the playground but they are currently raising funds for a permanent fence that will provide an even safer, more secure environment for our students to play. If you or your business would like to contribute, please email jenniferggregory@gmail.com.

Buzzys Art Award Winners Announced

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District PTO celebrates the artistic talents of our students with its annual Buzzys Art Awards.  PTO honored dozens of outstanding student artists who produced award-winning original works in drawing, painting, photography and writing during an awards program and reception for the students and their families on Monday.  The inspiring works from our students  reflected the theme of partnership as the District partners with Mississippi State University and prepares to break ground on a new 6th & 7th grade school.

You can view the album of artwork at www.facebook.com/StarkvilleSD

Congratulations to all of our student artists and special thanks to PTO for supporting and promoting arts in education!

Best in Show – Sudduth Elementary

Thomas Brodie Simmonds, Drawing and Painting

Kathryn Gartman, Photography

Saindhavi Shankar, Creative Writing

Best in Show – Henderson Ward Stewart

Nicholas Leightley, Drawing and Painting

Vance Smith, Photography

Maximo Reyna, Creative Writing

Best in Show – West Elementary

Jameria Carter, Drawing/Painting

Rakyla Brown, Photography

Best in Show – Overstreet

Kayleigh Edelblute, Drawing/Painting

Megan Wallace, Photography

Lyndy Peterson, Creative Writing

Best in Show – Armstrong Middle School

Mandy Sun, Drawing/Painting

Leander Stelios-Wills, Photography

Fiona Dawe, Creative Writing

Best in Show – Starkville High School

Marika Dunne, Drawing/Painting

Kindergarten                   

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Sandhavi Shankar

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Alena Belvin

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Jasmine Dozier

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Andrew Wordlaw

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Tyson Garner

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Will Shapley

HM                         Drawing/Painting              Hadley Thomas

1st                            Photography                       Kathryn Gartman

1st                            Creative Writing                 Sandhavi Shankar

1st Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Ellington Connerley

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Keller Netadj

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Cameron Long McMillen

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Liam Leightley

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Grey Mulrooney

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Ella Staton

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Coy Conner

1st                          Photography                       Liam Leightley

1st                          Creative Writing                 Makayla Carter

2nd Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Katie Chung

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Sabrina Baidas

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Claire Kight

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Aubree Burchfield

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Ward Mulrooney

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Alira Peng  

HM                         Drawing/Painting            J.D. Franks

HM                         Drawing/Painting            Meredith

1st                          Photography                    Rakyla Brown

2nd                         Photography                    Margot Hoffman

1st                          Creative Writing             Marion Ivy

3rd Grade       

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Anna Wyatt Ford

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Dorrie Wu

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Catherine Shapley

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Morgan Eddie

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Avery Garner

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Sachi Clay

1st                          Photography      Rose Dodds

2nd                        Photography      Jasmin Felguerez

3rd                         Photography      Addyson Vickers

HM                         Photography      Kylee Tomlison

1st                          Creative Writing            Maximo Reyna

2nd                        Creative Writing            Rose Dodds

4th Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Kaleigh Nicks

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Isabelle Nabors

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Jonah Evan

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Natalie Merrill

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Francie Taggert

HM                         Drawing/Painting              Rebecca Jolly

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Avery Stewart

1st                          Photography      Katie Bateman

2nd                        Photography      Camille Morgan

3rd                         Photography      Elizabeth McCool

HM                         Photography      Nickolas Leightley

1st                          Creative Writing              Carissa Palmer

5th Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Vivian Peng

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Karsyn Nixon

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Madison Smith

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Jacob Neal

HM                         Drawing/painting             Jameria Carter

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Madeline Brain

HM                         Drawing/painting             Olivia Bonnette  

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Phelps Dumas

1st                          Photography      Giles Jones

2nd                        Photography      Karsyn Nixon

1st                          Creative Writing            Lyndy Peterson

2nd                        Creative Writing            Sebastian Harvey

3rd                         Creative Writing            Tessa Luke

HM                         Creative Writing            Jontavious Rogers

HM                          Creative Writing             Lila Couterman

6th Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Mina Clay

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Harper Ford

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Jamiya Sharp

HM                         Drawing/Painting            Clinton Neely

1st                          Photography      Julia McPherson

2nd                        Photography      Brianna Monfort

1st                          Creative Writing                Ian Robertson

2nd                          Creative Writing               Lia Jones

7th Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Colin Kennedy

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Camryn Nichols  

1st                          Photography      Kenny Dean Smith

2nd                        Photography      Cooper Snell

3rd                         Photography      Colin Kennedy

1st                         Creative Writing          Lyem Nighthou  

8th Grade

1st                          Drawing/Painting             Alondra Rayna

2nd                        Drawing/Painting             Zoriah Kennard

3rd                         Drawing/Painting             Blake Smith

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Kyler Reeves

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Kate Dickerson

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Drew Walters  

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Alida Perez

HM                         Drawing/Painting             Nicholas Bryant  

1st                          Photography      Fiona Dawe

2nd                        Photography      Avery Johnson

3rd                         Photography      Ryan Leach

HM                         Photography      Shannon Dewberry

HM                         Photography      Brianne Locke

HM                         Photography      William Norris

HM                         Photography      Luke Panell

HM                         Photography       Tate Honea

1st                          Creative Writing            Fiona Dawe

2nd                        Creative Writing            Sam Schmulsky

3rd                         Creative Writing            Bobbi Calmes

HM                         Creative Writing             Noah Brown

HM                        Creative Writing              Karlie Brooks

SOCSD Board of Trustees names Peasant new leader

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees has named Eddie Peasant the District’s new superintendent.

The board voted unanimously to select Peasant, a former Mississippi Administrator of the Year, to lead the District.  Peasant is currently assistant superintendent of the Tupelo School District, where he oversees secondary education, athletics, technology, dual enrollment and discipline.  Peasant has also served as principal of Clinton High School and Gulfport Middle School. 

The board agreed Peasant’s successes and experiences at the secondary level make him uniquely qualified for the District’s top position as it prepares to begin construction on a new sixth and seventh grade school that combines the resources of SOCSD and Mississippi State University and promises to reimagine middle school and teacher training in Mississippi and beyond.

“He’s been a highly-effective administrative leader in large, diverse school districts like SOCSD where academics, arts, athletics and extra-curricular offerings are equally important to a student’s comprehensive educational experience,” said school board president Jenny Turner.  “He’s also very familiar with the transition from middle school to high school, and he’s very knowledgeable about how ninth grade academies can improve student achievement which falls in line with the District’s future plans for Armstrong Middle School.”

The consolidation plan for the new District calls for Armstrong Middle School to become a preparatory school for eighth and ninth grade students after the MSU-SOCSD Partnership School opens for sixth and seventh grade students. 

As high school principal, Peasant wrote “Improving Student Achievement: Can 9th Grade Academies Make a Difference?,” which was published in the International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership. 

“It’s an exciting time for our community and our district as we prepare to break ground on one of the most innovative schools from programs to facilities for 6th and 7th grades in the southeast,” added Turner.  “We’re ready to take the next step forward with Dr. Peasant.”

Peasant spent the entire day in the district on Thursday as part of the interview process, visiting schools and meeting with four stakeholder focus groups before interviewing with the school board. 

Peasant earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s degree from Mississippi College. 

His official start date is July 1. 

2017-18 Online Registration for Kindergarten ONLY now open

Online registration for new students who will be entering kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year at Sudduth Elementary School or West Elementary School is now open. 

How to Register:

  1. Click here to access registration link.  
  2. Create an account.  If you registered a child in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District for the 2016-17 school year, please use your existing account and do not create a new account. 
  3. Select 2017-18 school year.
  4. Complete registration form.
  5. Upload residency verification documents, immunization records, and birth certificates  OR take a copy of your child’s required documents for registration to his/her school. All electronic documents uploaded to your online registration account must be legible.

SOCSD Board of Trustees Announces Three Finalists for Superintendent

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees has selected three finalists to interview for the position of superintendent. 

The finalists are Tupelo School District Assistant Superintendent Eddie Peasant, Scott County School District Superintendent Tony McGee, and Tullahoma, Tennessee School District Superintendent Dan Lawson. 

McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, the firm contracted to conduct the search, shared the full applications of 43 individuals who applied for the position and met all qualifications with board on Tuesday.  The board narrowed the list to three during an executive session that lasted several hours. 

“We have a very strong pool,” said Jenny Turner, school board president. “This search yielded almost double the number of applicants from the last search, indicating a greater interest in the district and the position.”

The District is in its second year of a county-wide consolidation plan that includes the construction of a sixth and seventh grade school, a high-profile project that combines the resources of the District and Mississippi State University and promises to reimagine middle school and teacher training in Mississippi and beyond. 

“It is an exciting time for our community and our district as we prepare to break ground on one of the most innovative schools from programs to facilities for 6th and 7th grades in the southeast,” added Turner.  “We’re ready to take the next step in the search process to identify the person who can best lead the District forward.”

Each candidate will spend a full day in the District as part of the interview process, which will include   question and answer sessions with four focus groups that represent various district and community stakeholders who previously participated in listening sessions regarding the search.  The board will also interview the candidates during executive session.  This next phase of the search begins Thursday and concludes Monday. 

About the candidates

Peasant has been an assistant superintendent in the Tupelo School District since 2014, where he oversees secondary education.  He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s degree from Mississippi College.  Prior to becoming an assistant superintendent, Peasant served as principal of Clinton High School for six years. 

McGee has been a superintendent since 2008.  He’s in his second year as superintendent of Scott County Schools.  He previously served as superintendent in Kosciusko for seven years.  He holds two degrees from Mississippi State University including his doctorate.  McGee earned his master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.   

Lawson has been superintendent of Tullahoma, Tennessee School District since 1997.  He earned his doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 1993.  He also holds degrees from the University of Missouri and Missouri State University.  Lawson also has experience as a superintendent and principal in the Mountain Grove, Missouri School District. 

Sudduth Students Eat Their Way to Good Health

With visions of rainbows in their heads, some students at Sudduth Elementary School learned to paint and eat a delicious and nutritious snack. 

The Mississippi University for Women Culinary Arts Institute introduced students to fresh fruits and vegetables that feature the colors of a rainbow during a food tasting demo at their school.  The students created a rainbow on a stick, which is actually a fruit kebob, and used a pastry brush, to paint the fruit with vanilla yogurt and then rolled their special treat in granola.  The students also stirred together a secret spice mix to enjoy with fresh vegetables. 

The special demonstration offered to students at Sudduth Elementary School is funded through a grant from MUW’s Project CHEW and Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Passport to Wellness program. 

Get the full story on this tasting opportunity that teaches children about the importance of cooking and eating healthy at https://www.starkvilledailynews.com/content/sudduth-students-get-healthy-food-demo .

Starkville High School’s Chris Luckett wins Youth Conservation Award from Mississippi Wildlife Federation

The Misssissippi Wildlife Federation honored Chris Luckett, a freshman at Starkville High School, as the Youth Conservationist of the Year during the 57th annual Mississippi Conservation Achievement Awards Luncheon. Chris was recognized for demonstrating a personal commitment to conserving the state’s resources and protecting the environment. He’s participated in the Starkville Science Club as a student and an assistant.

The Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Awards are among the most prestigious for conservation efforts. They are presented annually on behalf of MWF’s members and supporters and its statewide network of affiliated organizations.

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