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Houston School District's Tony Cook Named Mississippi's Superintendent of the Year

about 1 year ago

By: Lisa Karmacharya, Director of MASA

“A dynamic, driven and dedicated leader that promotes excellence in our students, teachers, school leaders and community” are the words one administrator used to describe Mississippi’s 2018-2019 Superintendent of the Year. The Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA) is pleased to announce Mr. Tony Cook, Superintendent of the Houston School District, has been selected as the 2018-2019 Superintendent of the Year for the state of Mississippi.  


In the spring of 2015, Mr. Cook was given the opportunity to return to his hometown of Houston as the superintendent and has since led the school district in achieving its highest rating in history.  An incredibly passionate and child-centered leader, Mr. Cook is not one for excuses, but rather, one for solutions.  By engaging his local community for support, the Houston School District has been able to overcome some of the challenges that rural and high poverty districts face.  Mr. Cook believes in working alongside his staff and provides them with the support they need to ensure the success of children as evidenced by the ongoing improvement of student outcomes.

Mr. Tony Cook pictured with State Superintendent Dr. Carey M. Wright.

An educator for more than twenty years, Mr. Cook understands the challenges and opportunities in the public school arena and is dedicated to providing a quality learning experience for all children.  He continues to engage in his own professional learning, demonstrating his belief in continuous improvement by modeling and leading by example.  Mr. Cook is a servant leader who understands and respects the value of experience and collective wisdom.  He has been honored to serve on many state and local committees including the state accountability task force and the state superintendent’s advisory committee.  In 2009, Mr. Cook was selected as Administrator of the Year for the Pontotoc City School District.  Mr. Cook’s thoughts about his move back home and the successes they have seen is summed up in this quote “I'm so proud of my hometown and my home district. Once a Topper, always a Topper.”

Mr. Cook is married to the former Ms. Pam Kyle of Pontotoc. 

MASA’s Superintendent of the Year Program provides our school district leaders an opportunity to share their successes in the areas of leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement with the winner competing during The American Association of School Administrators, The School Superintendent’s Association Annual National Conference on Education.  This year’s competition will be held in Los Angeles where all state affiliate winners will be honored.  On behalf of the entire MASA membership and Board of Directors, we are incredibly proud to have him representing the great state of Mississippi and we wish him and the Houston School District continued success! 

Students of the Month

11 days ago

October 2019

6th Grade

Front:  Eli Jackson (Ward), Madisyn Winter (Cooper), Tyson Alford (Spruill), Destiny Barr (Higginbotham) and Brayden Children (Eldridge)

Back: Maggie Morphis (M. Moore), Brand Garner (Miller), Lazarion Davidson (Samara), NyKeyia Griffis (Boatman) and Kamiya Virges (Stewart)

7th Grade

Front: Jose Vazquez (Horn), Clara Boykin (Chandler), Janaisha Free (Jernigan), Gracie Hollingsworth (Doss), Taylor Mixon (J. Moore)

Back: Amber Cardona (M. Moore), Lizbeth Espiricueta (Borst), Mical Cook (Horn); Armando Vazqeuz (Neal), Carter Pettit (Chapman), Cason Moss (Eldridge), Cristian Espiricueta (Gann)

Not pictured: Dora Murillo (Brown)

8th Grade

Front:  Blakely Gill (Watson), Ja'myrie Davenport (Brandon), Makaylee Smith (Brown), Ivette Gonzalez (Eldridge), Damien Williams (Gann) 

Back: Jonathan Childress (Lancaster), Brayan Pineda (Chapman), Jayden Lawrence (Hamilton), Clayton Griffin (Samara), Cameron Burnett (M. Moore), Tyshawn Vance (Griffin); 

Not pictured:  Kennedy Pearson (Kirby) and Joey White (Ward)

September 2019

6th Grade

Front:

Audrey Clark - Miller; Bianca Cooper - Higginbotham; Presley Reeves - Steward & Cooper; Emma Kilgore - Ward: 

Back:

Matthew Merriman - M. Moore; Alan Gonzalez - Spruill; Jason McCoy - Neal; Sadarius Randle - Boatman; Chrissy Bradley - Eldridge

7th Grade

Front: 

Trey Buford - Horn; Shadijah Starks - M. Moore; Lizzie Kinard - Horn; Tyler Davis - Jernigan; Taylor Mixon - Eldridge; Tapanga Hood - Borst

Back: 

Keshawn Snowden - Doss; Ben Ducker - Brown; Nathan Ford - Gann; Kamryn Gates - Chapman; Cierra Robinson - J. Moore


8th Grade

Front:

Samiah Moore - Chapman; Devonte White - M. Moore; Katie Evans - Ward; Katelyn Hood - Brandon; Markerra Williams - Watson


Back: 

Julie Murphree - Hamilton; Lara Hollingsworth - Kirby; Victoria Price - Eldridge; Demetris Atkinson - Lancaster; Alicia White - Gann; Jalashia McCoy - Brown

August 2019

6th Grade

Ashonti Armstrong - M. Moore; Destiny Barr - Samara; Carter Tedder - Eldridge; Kalea Williams - Ward; Cara Pearson - Spruill; Presley Reeves - Miller; Gabe Alfaro - Stewart; Kaylyn Dean - Higginbotham and Cooper; Not pictured: Mia Harries - Boatman

7th Grade

Cayne Sullivan - Neal; Courtney Gill - Jernigan; Da'Juan Ghrim - Chandler; Viviann Criddle - J. Moore; Nathan Ford - Gann; Rhett Goode - Eldridge; Bryanna Ward - Borst; Damien Parks - Chapman; Kinley Hallmark - Brown; Karissa Lee - Samara; Ben Ducker - Horn; Chloe Sintakakis - M. Moore

8th Grade

Sedrick Walker - Samara; Devonte White - Griffin; Jayden Lawrence - Brown; Kyler Moore - Lancaster; R.J. Utz - Hamilton; Lara Hollingsworth - Chapman; Joshua Mayhall - Watson; Makaylee Smith - M. Moore; Jalen Washington - Brandon; Alyssa Murphree - Eldridge; Chelsea Barr - Ward; Sherlin Rodriguez-Diaz - Kirby; Jania Russell - Gann

April 2019

6th Grade

(Front Row) Tyler Davis (Alford), Jose Vasquez (Eldridge), Damien Parks (Weaver), Selena Buchanan Casados (Cooper) and Jace McAlpin (Higginbotham).

(Back Row) Mason  Gentry (Burt), Trey Buford (Stewart), Alexis Audette (Miller), Leanna Funderburk (M. Moore), Kelaysia Carter (Boatman), and McKenna Diaz (Jernigan).

7th Grade

(Front Row) Clayton Griffin (J. Moore), Lara Hancock (Eldridge), Case Booth (Higginbotham) and Samiah Moore (Borst).

(Back Row) Cecilia Cutierrez (Chapman), Tyler Brand (Horn), Cooper Morphis (M. Moore), Kylan Marble (Jernigan), Katelyn Hood (Brown) and Beiyonka Woodhouse (Ward).

8th Grade

(Front Row) Elise Neal (Turman), Khloe Flake (Dendy), Jayli McNease (Hamilton), Devonte White (Griffin) and Jocelyn Burton (Kirby).

(Back Row) Michal Brassfield (M. Moore), Bailey Hughes (Jernigan), Kemper Cook (Lancaster), Logan Alvardo (Gann), Chloe Mitchell (Brown) and Yessica Zarate (Ward).

March 2019

6th Grade

Mark Murillo, Viviann Criddle, Miracle Morgan, Devion Holmes, Skylar White, Dollina Cruse, Mary Claire Pennington, Kinley Hallmark, Valerie McCoy, & Topanga Hood

7th Grade

MJ Hiner, Lara Hollingsworth, Makaylee Smith, David Boykin, Kylan Marble, Case Booth, & Makiya Chandler



8th Grade

Emmy Reynolds, Tasia Robinson, Bailey Hughes, Paris Gates, Taylor Pulphus, Halibeth Winter, Ryland Townsend, & Jaylon Earrey




february 2019

6th Grade

Gracie Hollingsworth - Weaver; Taylor Higginbotham - Stewart; Kamryn Gates - Cooper; Courtney Gill - Eldridge; Ciera Robinson - Miller; Linzie Kinard - J. Moore; Riley Davis - M. Moore; Shaniyah Buford - Alford; Josh Jenkins - Higginbotham; Cristian Espiricueta - Neal; (Not Pictured: Damien Parks - Boatman; Estrella Pachecano - Burt)

7th Grade

Jamal Pulliam - Horn; Alyssa Murphree - Eldridge; Sedrick Walker - J. Moore; Lara Hollingsworth - Chapman; Alicia White - Higginbotham; William Echoles - Chandler; Damien Williams - Borst; X'zasja Townsend - Ward; Jay Hamilton - Brown; Devonte White - Griffin

8th Grade

Khloe Flake - Hamilton; Latasha Burt - M. Moore; Zandarian Davidson - Gann; McKenzie Bivens - Brown; Bailey Hughes - Lancaster; Bryson Beltran - Turman; Rylan Townsend - Kirby; Emmy Reynolds - Dendy; Lexie Haire - Jernigan; Marquan Boyd-Clinton - Ward


January 2019

6th Grade

Shadijah Starks - Eldridge; Jace McAlphin - Burt; Millie Heeringa - M. Moore; Katelyn Collins - Alford; Armando Vasquez - Weaver; Alan Camacho - Boatman; Amber Cardona - Hollingsworth; Brandi Unruh - Stewart; Markail Tallie - Cooper; Zakaiyah Collins - Higginbotham; (Not Pictured: Chloe Sintikakis - Miller)


7th Grade

Kylan Marble - Chandler; Jackson Aldridge - Higginbotham; Olashaq Echoles - Jernigan; Jamaal Pulliam - Neal; Victoria Price - Hollingsworth; Kennedy Pearson - Horn; Julie Beth Murphree - M. Moore; Will Pickens - Borst; Jeremy Cooper - Chapman; Samiah Moore - Ward; Sara Casados - Eldridge; Cameron Burnett - J. Moore; Ivette Gonzalez - Brown

8th Grade

Rylan Townsend - Brown and Ward; Shaley Bustamante - Eldridge; Sydney Bean - Lancaster; Destiny Houston - M. Moore; Maddox Clouse - Dendy; Seth Fowler - Hamilton; Tre Mims - Kirby; Cayden Burnett - Griffin; (Not pictured: Christian Lincoln - Gann)

December 2018

6th Grade

Omarion Hammond - Burt; Haylee Byars - M. Moore; Trinity Hamilton - MIller; Dora Murillo - Alford; Jadarius Chandler - Higgonbotham; Steven Cook - Boatman; Breanna Ward - Stewart; Not pictured: Aunna Hamilton - Eldridge; Lizbeth Espericueta - Cooper

7th Grade

Zelriah Brinker - Eldridge; Makiya Chandler - J. Moore; Jamarion Hamilton - Neal and Ward; Jahiem Brownlee - Horn; Lea Grace Dendy - Borst; Alyssa Murphree - Brown; Sara Casados - M. Moore; Sherlin Rodriguez-Diaz - Jernigan; Jamyrie Davenport - Higgonbotham; Olashaq Echoles - Stewart


8th Grade

Anna Claire Smith - Eldridge; Bailey Hughes - Hamilton; Jamaal Powe - Ward; Raven Hall - Brown; Brandon Watkins - Lancaster; Seninah Conway - M. Moore; Kaia Brady - Dendy; Brooklyn Williams - Kirby

Novemer 2018

6th Grade

Front Row: John Henry Walters - Cooper; Langley Smith - Alford; Ken'treyvis Buford - Neal; Tyler Davis - Jernigan; Jose Varela - Stewart

Back Row: Shaniyyh Buford - Boatman; Christpher Parker - Burt; Skylar White - Higginbotham; Grey Simmons - Eldridge; Briana Bedolla - Miller; Not Pictured - Emma Gayle Smith - M. Moore


7th Grade

Front Row: Sherlin Rodriguez-Diaz - M. Moore; Makaylee Smith - Horn; Victoria Price - Borst; Cecilia Gutierrez - Chandler

Back Row: Blakely Gill - Brown; D'Andre Spencer - J. Moore; Ivette Gonzalez - Eldridge; DJ McGregory - Higginbotham; Blakely Earrey - Ward; Not Pictured - Katelyn Hood - Chapman

8th Grade

Front Row: Brooklyn Williams - Ward; Emma Smith - M. Moore; Tre Hall - Brown; Fantasia Hill - Griffin

Back Row: Michal Brassfield - Jernigan; Bre Davidson - Lancaster; Jordan Pratt - Kirby; Cameron Razor - Eldridge; Raven Hall - Dendy; Not pictured: Jocelynn Loaeza - Hamilton

October 2018

6th Grade

Front Row:

Jacob Boyette - Higginbotham

Rhett Goode - Alford

Ken'treyvis Buford - Cooper

Kha'Marion Starks - M. Moore

Back Row:

Jose Vazquez - Stewart

Karissa Lee - Weaver

Nykeria Pratt - Miller

Skylar White - Eldridge

Viridiana Gonzalez - Boatman

Taylor Mixon - Burt

Topanga Hood - Hollingsworth

7th grade

Front Row: 

Jamarion Hamilton - Chandler

Drew Black - Brown

Islam Al-Omari - Eldridge

Kennedy Pearson - M. Moore

Back Row:

Braxton Porter - Chapman

Case Booth - Horn

Chelsey Barr - Higginbotham

Jayden Lawrence - Hollingsworth

Corley Carter - Borst

Kaleigh Townsend - J. Moore

Not Pictured: R. J. Utz

8th Grade

Front Row:

Bre Bell - Peterson

Kayleigh Heair - Neal

Sydney Bean - Kirby

Emniyah Vance - Gann and Brown

Taylor Pulphus - Jernigan

Back Row:

Paul Buford - Dendy

Logan Alvarado - Lancaster

Jocelyn Burton - Hamilton

McKenzie Bivens - M. Moore

A.J. Williams - Griffin

Not Pictured: 

Greyson Moore

September 2018

6th Grade

Front: Clara Boykin, Jaleyah Brown, Gracie Hollingsworth, Skylar White, Zakaiyah Collins, & Kimberly Hernandez

Back: Cason Moss, Denasia McGregory, Kale Armstrong, Armando Vasquez, Aunna Hamilton


7th Grade

Front:  Kyler Morris, Markerra Williams, Chelsey Barr, Tyler Brand, & James Cousins

Back:  Lara Hollingsworth, Simira Wofford, Brayan Pineda, Cade Callahan, & Jalashia McCoy


8th

Front:  J’Mya Hatchett, Bryson Beltran, Kayleigh Heair,  Mahaugani Gates, Halibeth Winter & Emma Smith,

Back:  Latreveone Davidson, Bre Baskin, Greta Tate, Aubrie Kilgore & Haley Moore


August 2018

6th Grade

Miller: Ben Ducker

Eldridge: Dora Murillo

Weaver: Vivian Vazquez

Boatman: Dakeira Ivy

Stewart: Nykeria Pratt

Alford: Kinley Hallmark

Cooper: Kimble Clouse

M. Moore: Cesar Vazquez

Higginbotham: Cason Moss

Burt: Sean Marion


7th Grade

Chandler: Anna Bevill

Borst: Katelyn Hood

Chapman: Simira Wofford

Brown and Ward: Jalen Washington

Higginbotham: Xzasja Townsend

Horn: Jon Hodge Murphree

J. Moore: Garrett Weaver

Not Pictured:

M. Moore - Hillary Peterson

8th Grade

Dendy: Townes Simmons

Hamilton: Cooper Leigh Watkins

Jernigan: Anna Claire Smith

Lancaster: Persia Cousins

Gann: Jordan Pratt

Neal: E.J. Stovall

Brown: Cameron Razor

Griffin: Ziraya Moore

Peterson: Khloe Flake

Ward: Alyse Neal

M. Moore - Lexi Heair

Not Pictured

Kirby: Bubba Jordan

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Teachers of the Month

10 days ago




Keith Jernigan

October 2019

I am the 6th - 8th grade physical education teacher, as well as the 7th and 8th grade girls basketball coach. I graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Health and Physical Education.

Lizzie Brandon

September 2019

I am the 8th grade science teacher at Houston Middle School. I work with the 8th grade students to teach them fun and interesting things in science, prepare them for state tests, prepare them for high school, and help to prepare them for life in general. I have a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education-Biology and General Sciences from Mississippi State University. I have previously worked at Starkville High School teaching biology, physical science, and environmental science. I love what I do. I truly enjoy seeing students work hard, achieve their goals, and learn new and interesting things in science. The most rewarding part of my job is watching students work hard and have that “light bulb” moment where everything finally makes sense!


Freda Morgan

August 2019
Special Education Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Freda Morgan, Special Education Assistant Teacher, is theTeacher of the Month for August. Mrs. Morgan was voted teacher of the month for several reasons. She goes above & beyond for her students and pushes her students to learn and grow. She always has a positive attitude and a smile that is contagious. We appreciate all you do, Mrs. Morgan!!

Carey Ward

April
7th and 8th Grade Language Arts

As a graduate of Houston High, I am honored to teach in my home town. This is my eleventh year at HMS and I love the middle grades with all of their challenges and achievements! I currently hold a bachelors of science degree from Mississippi State University and a Master's degree from University of Mississippi. My plans are to continue my education, because we never stop learning!

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Donna Turman

March

8th Grade Science Teacher

Mrs. Turman is a retired science teacher who is filling in this spring semester at Houston Middle School. 

We are so thankful to have Mrs. Turman teaching our 8th graders. She is preparing our students for the 8th Grade Science State Test. 


Alfreda Morgan

February

Special Education Assistant Teacher

"Mrs. Morgan has a genuine love for her students. She works so hard to make sure they get what they need to be successful."

"She is the most selfless person I know, constantly going above to show the students and teachers she cares."

"She is always positive!"

"She goes over and beyond her job many times. She has a love for her students."


Hannah Dendy

January

STEM 8th Grade Teacher

I received my Bachelor's in Education at the University of Mississippi. I took my first teaching job at Houlka Attendance Center teaching 7th grade through 12th. I was there for two years. I taught ICT I, ICT II, 7th grade Reading, ACT prep, and Theatre I. Last year I was excited to come back to my hometown and become a part of the HMS family.

Derick Kirby

December

8th Grade Geography-MS Studies Teacher/Head Softball Coach

I am the 8th grade Geography/MS Studies teacher as well as the Head Softball coach. I have taught and coached in the Houston School District for 5 years. I received my bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University and am currently seeking my Master's in Educational Leadership. I have been married to my wife, Tonya, for 14 years and have 3 kids, Anna Claire, Mylee, and Tyler who all attend school in this district. "We are never defeated unless we give up on God." - Ronald Reagan

Susan Eldridge

November

Language/Arts Teacher

I teach Language Arts and Speech and Drama at Houston Middle School. I am a graduate of Amory High School, Itawamba Community College, and Mississippi State University.

Melissa Moore

October
Music Teacher

I'm Melissa Moore, and I grew up in Houston. I've taught music in several places, including Houston Lower Elementary about 20 years ago. (I may have taught some of you parents!! :-) I took several years off to do other things, butI am thrilled to be back in Houston teaching middle-school and high-school chorus! The halls are alive with the sound of music!! 

Carol Lancaster

September
8th Grade Math Teacher

I teach 8th grade math and math tutorial at HMS. This is my 28th year teaching. I have also taught Kindergarten, 5th grade, 6th grade, and 7th grade. I have a degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in math from Mississippi State University. GO DAWGS!



Brittany Horn

August
7th Grade U.S. History

I have been teaching history at Houston Middle School for five years. I have a degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in history from Mississippi University for Women.

HMS News

21 days ago

HMS Celebrates 

Red Ribbon Week 2019 

Students and staff participate in spirit days, a school-wide assembly, hallway decoration contest and an escape room activity to bring awareness to drug prevention!

HMS Choir performs at the Red Ribbon Assembly.

Local Nurse Practitioner Angela Furr and Bridget Logan, LPN, warn students about the dangers of vaping.

Deputy Sheriff Bo Yeatman and K9 Rex demonstrate law enforcement skills.

HMS Speech and Drama perform a skit about saying no to drugs despite peer pressure.

HMS Cheerleaders pump up the audience for the rally!

A group of teachers end the rally with a silly dance, showing students fun without drugs!!

                 


Above: Congratulations to the 8th grade for winning the Red Ribbon Hallway Contest! 

Below: Students have fun completing an escape room activity based on facts about Red Ribbon Week with HMS Counselor Leigh Ann Mabry!

                 
                 



















HMS Science Winners compete at regionals at NEMCC

6th Grade

(Front) Langley Smith (placed 3rd at regionals in Medicine and Health), Millie Heeringa, Katelyn Collins; (Back) Jace McAlpin, Steven Cook, Rialey Gage Tucker and Jose Vazquez

7th Grade

Kennedy Pearson, Jamal Pulliam, Jon Hodge Murphree and Jayden Lawrence (placed 1st at regionals in Engineering, Computers and Math)


Cyber Crime Investigator speaks to HMS Students

Angela Adams Williams,

Special Investigator with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and ICAC Commander, speaks to Houston Middle School students about cyber crime. 

Ms. Williams informed students about the different types of cyber crime and informed students that cyber crime is illegal, considered a felony, and children as young as 10 can go to jail for committing cyber crime.


HMS Jr Beta competes at sTate convention


Congrats to:

Breeanah Bell, who placed fourth in Three Dimensional Design, and Taylor Higginbotham, who placed fifth in science, at the 2019 Mississippi Jr. Beta Convention in Biloxi, Miss. These students are eligible to compete at Nationals in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, this summer. 
We are so proud of all of our students who competed! Go Toppers!!

HMS Math Winners

Pictured below are the winners of the 2019 MCTM Mathematics Tournament at Houston Middle School. These students will go on to compete at the district level Friday, March 22, 2019, at Itawamba Community College. 

7th Grade

1st Place - Drew Black

2nd Place - Braxton Porter

3rd Place - John Hodge Murphree

8th Grade

1st Place - Tre Hall

2nd Place - Jocelynn Burton

3rd Place - Maddox Clouse


Clouse Wins 1st Place at State Reading Fair

We are so proud of Kimble Clouse, sixth grader at Houston Middle School! She won first place at the State Reading Fair in the Individual Literary Fiction category. Way to go, Kimble!


HMS Students 

Place at Regional Reading Fair

Congratulations to Houston Middle School students Kimble Clouse and Chloe Mitchell for placing at the Regional Reading Fair in Oxford, Miss. Kimble placed first in the fiction category for her division and will go on to compete in Jackson, Miss., at the State Reading Fair. Chloe placed third in the non-fiction category for her division. Both girls placed first in their categories at the district level.


HMS Science Fair Winners

Botany: Millie Heeringa - 1st Place

Environmental Science: Kaleigh Townsend - 2nd Place; Kennedy Pearson - 1st Place

Engineering, Computers and Math: Jamarion Hamilton - Honorable Mention; Jonathan Childress - 5th Place; Brayton Gray - 1st Place; QuDarrius Conway - 4th Place; Jayden Lawrence - 2nd Place; Makerra Williams - 3rd Place

Chemistry: Katelyn Collins - 5th Place; Clara Boykin - Honorable Mention; Tracy Neal - 1st Place (Tie); Rialey Gage Tucker - 2nd Place; Lara Hollingsworth - 4th Place (Not pictured: Aimee Buckley - First Place - Tie)

Medicine and Health: Kimble Clouse - 5th Place; Alyssa Murphree - 4th Place; Ivette Gonzalez - 3rd Place; Langley Smith - 2nd Place; Jon Hodge Murphree - 1st Place; (Not Pictured; Allyssa Little and Cortez Brandon - Honorable Mention)

Physics: Taylor Higginbotham - 5th Place; Steven Cook - 1st Place; Jose Vazquez - 2nd Place; Jamal Pullium - 5th Place; Jace McAlpin - 3rd Place; Joby King - 4th Place; Tyler Davis - Honorable Mention


HMS Named National Beta School of Distinction 

National Beta is proud to announce Houston Middle School as a 2018-2019 National School of Distinction. This award is an honor for Beta Chapters striving towards academic achievement, exemplary character, demonstrated leadership and service to others. With an ongoing quest to instill these qualities in more students, the National Beta School of Distinction Award is designed to award those schools that show an increase in membership for the current school year.

 “We are so excited to receive this honor again!” said Mrs. Stacey Chapman, Beta Club sponsor for HMS.  “Our membership has increased to 90 members since last year, and we are excited to be a part of this distinguished class of scholars.  We look forward to what the future holds for Houston Middle School Beta and hope to encourage other students to strive for excellence.”

 Award recipients received a National Beta School of Distinction banner to proudly display as a symbol of their accomplishment. In addition, National Beta School of Distinction recipients will be publicized at the 2019 National Beta Convention in Oklahoma City, OK this June.

“This prestigious honor is a true indication of Houston Middle School’s dedication to academic excellence, leadership development and commitment to celebrating their student’s achievements,” said National Beta’s Chief Executive Officer, Bobby Hart.

 About National Beta: National Beta is the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America. Since its beginnings in 1934, National Beta has been committed to providing students with a positive experience in a supportive manner in grades 4-12. The organization recognizes outstanding achievement, promotes character and social responsibility, encourages service involvement to school and community, and fosters leadership skills. 


HMs Celebrates 

Red Ribbon Week


Houston Middle School celebrated Red Ribbon Week Oct. 22 - Oct. 26 with a hall decoration contest between grades and daily spirit themes and ended the week with a big celebration with guest speakers and performances from HMS Chorus, HMS Cheerleaders, HMS Speech & Drama and HMS teachers. 


Jeremy Voyles from the Sheriff's Department speaks to students about the importance of being drug free.

Bo Yatemean brings the K9 Drug Dog for students to see.

HMS Lady Teachers?!?

Corie Jones from The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi informs students about the marketing tactics tobacco companies use to lure children and young people to buy their deadly products.


HMS Speech & Drama

                 


HMS Cheerleaders

HMS Chorus


Community Leaders Motivate Middle Schoolers!





HMS wants to thank Kellie Atkinson, 
Cat Gathings and Stacy Parker for speaking to our students earlier this semester about the importance of graduating high school and post-secondary education! They all did a great job!! #topperstrong

HMS Awards Programs

6th Grade Highest Overall GPA - Kennedy Pearson

7th Grade Highest Overall GPA - McKenzie Bivens

8th Grade Highest Overall GPA - Sarah Brassfield

HMS Hall of Fame Winners:

Sarah Brassfield, Jessica Torres, Trinity Buggs, Saraya Crawford

HMS Hall of Fame Nominees

HMS Hall of Fame Nominees

7th Grade Worldmen History Award - Alise Neal

8th Grade Worldmen History Award - Ollie Franklin

Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award Middle School Level - Brittany Horn

Jr. Beta 2018 State Competition - 1st Place for Speech: Trinity Buggs

6th Grade Duke Tip

7th Grade Duke Tip

6th Grade Highest Averages

7th Grade Highest Averages

8th Grade Highest Averages

6th Grade Citizenship

7th Grade Citizenship

8th Grade Citizenship

6th Grade Most Improved

7th Grade Most Improved

8th Grade Most Improved

6th Grade Music

7th Grade Music

8th Grade Music

6th Grade Science Fair

7th Grade Science Fair

8th Grade Science Fair

8th Grade Science Bowl

Speech & Drama


Hall of Fame Nominees: Christopher Alexander, Ramaiya Armstrong, Karis Autry, Addison Ball, Heather Blakely, Sarah Beth Brassfield, Autumn Britt, Brantley Brown, Kaliya Brownlee, Trinity Buggs, Precious Cooper, Saraya Crawford, Oliver Franklin, Olivia Funderburk, Teylsa Guido, Alyssa Haire, Diamond Hall, Jasmine Key, Maddie King, Alexis Laster, Jaxon Laster, Hayden Mann, Keonte McIntosh, Marilyn Montoya, Makinzi Moore, Gracie Moreno, Sabrina Moreno, Malik Price, Kaliyah Prophette, Yasmin Ruth, Bailey Shaw, Graciela Soto, Jessica Torres, Garret Vance, William Vance, Tayisha Walker, Whitney Walters, Kalena Williams and Khenyia Williams

Duke Academic Awards

6th grade: Nevaeh Brinker, Aimee Buckley, Jeremy Cooper, Ivette Gonzalez, Jonathan Murphree, Kennedy Pearson and Jalen Washington

7th grade: McKenzie Bivens, Sommer Fredrick, Andrew Hall, Raven Hall, Larry Mims and Nicolas Moreno

Highest Average Awards

6TH Grade
Islam Al-Omari – Math, Accelerated ELA
Drew Black – Compacted Math (Miller)
Katie Cook – ELA (Eldridge)
Ivette Gonzalez – ICT, History
Kennedy Pearson – Science
Makayla Pernell – ELA (Griffin)
Devonte White – Math (Griffin)
Art Award – Anna Bevill 
7th Grade
McKenize Bivens – Advanced ELA, ICTII, Science, Compacted Math
Kaia Brady – ELA (Chapman)
Chloe Mitchell – Math (Moore)
Zariyia Moore – ELA (Griffin)
Alyse Neal -- History
Art Award – Haley Moore
8th Grade
Sarah Brassfield – Science, Advanced ELA, Compacted Math, ICT
Saraya Crawford – Math
Alexis Ellison – MS Studies (Kirby)
Landry Harrell – Math (Griffin)
Destiny Soden – ELA (Ward)
Jessica Torres – World Geography (Kirby)
Art Award – Dalton Johnson

Citizenship Awards
6TH Grade
Corley Carter – Melissa Moore; Stewart
Katie Cook – Eldridge
Madison Crowley -- Higginbotham
Ivette Gonzalez -- Miller
Cecelia Gutierrez -- Alford
Jessenia Gutierrez – Boatman & Gates
Jalashia McCoy -- Cooper
Tyshawn Vance – Griffin
7th Grade
Logan Alvarado – JMoore
McKenzie Bivens -- Eldridge
Khloe Flake – Pierce
Raven Hall – Melissa Moore
Kayleigh Heair – Chapman
Jayli McNease – Brown
Alyse Neal -- Higginbotham
Jordan Pratt -- Horn
Taylor Pulphus -- Ward
Greta Tate -- Chandler
8th Grade
Autumn Britt – Eldridge
Diamond Hall -- Ward
Jasmine Key – Lancaster
Brianna Laster -- Kirby
Aaliyah Millsap -- MMoore
Amy Murillo -- Brown
Jayla Prophette -- Griffin
Jessica Torres – Borst
William Vance -- Gann
Khenyia Williams – Dendy

MOST IMPROVED

6TH Grade
Jimmy Bell – Miller -- Math
Anna Bevill – Alford -- Science
Corley Carter – Boatman – ICT
Kyla Clarett – Stewart -- History
Lea Grace Dendy – Higginbotham – Math
Alex Gordillo – Eldridge – Speech & Drama
Kylan Marble – Eldridge -- ELA
Hugo Murillo – Cooper – ELA
Sherlin Rodriguez-Diaz -- Gates
7th Grade
Tymekia Clark – Ms. Ward -- ELA
Kemper Cook – Mrs. J Moore – Math
Tristan Griffin – Mrs. Horn -- History
J’Mya Hatchett – Mrs. Pierce – Science
Lexi Heair – Brown – Compacted Math
Fantasia Hill – Mrs. Griffin
Jordan Pratt – Mrs. Chapman – ELA, Higginbotham -- Math
Michael Smith – Mrs. Chandler -- ICTII
Most Improved and Hard Worker – 7th Grade Math – Tydouglas Buchanan & Paul Buford – Mrs. J Moore
8th Grade
Malik Buchanan – Coach Kirby – 8th Grade History
Eli Erickson – Lancaster – 8th Math
Justin Flatt – Gann – ELA
Penelope Harrell – Brown – Compacted Math
Kirk Johnson – Mrs. Griffin
Kirklyn Johnson – Ms. Dendy – ICT
Amber Kilgore – Ms. Ward -- ELA
Jenna Walters – Borst – Science

HMS Music Awards
Choir
6th grade
Choir Leadership Kennedy Pearson
Rising Star Julie Beth Murphree
Citizenship Corley Carter
7th grade
Choir Musicianship Rihanna Criddle
Rising Star Jocelyn Burton
Citizenship Raven Hall
8th
Choir Musicianship Alexis Ellison, Katie Hill, and Bailey Shaw
Choir Leadership Kirk Johnson
Rising Star J.D. Criddle
Citizenship Aaliyah Millsap
Band
6th
Most improved beginning performer-Kaileigh Townsend
Beginning Band Director’s award-Ivette Gonzalez
7th
Most Improved intermediate performer-Larry “Trey” Mims
Intermediate Band Director’s award-Rhianna Criddle
8th
Most improved advanced performer-Kaliya Brownlee
Advanced band director’s award-Maddie King

Science Fair
6th Grade: Kennedy Pearson, Makiya Chandler, John Hodge Murphree and Aimee Buckley
7th Grade: Maddox Clouse, Jaylee Sullivan, Zariya Williams, Latasha Burt, Khloe Flake, Raven Hall, Yessica Zarate, Chloe mitchell, Blakely Andrews and Hydiea Farr
8th Grade: Christopher Alexander, Hayden Crump, Will Wright
Special recognition:
Will Wright- 2nd place Chemistry (Advances on to State Science Fair)
Raven Hall & Hydiea Farr - Winners of the American Meteorological Society Award & NOAA's 2018 Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award
Za'Riyah Williams & Yessica Zarate - Regional Water Prize Award

Science Bowl
Sarah Brassfield, Alexis Ellison, Payten Dotson, Oliver Franklin, and Jessica Torres

Speech and Drama Awards
Best Actor: Ollie Franklin & Richard DeLaCruz
Best Actress: Sarah Brassfield & Jessica Torres
Stage Crew Award: Autumn Britt
Speech & Drama Award: Makinzi Moore & Jaxon Laster


HMS Beauty Review

HMS Beauties and Winner:
Miss Jr. Hilltopper 2018 - Kylee Martin
Harley Blakeney
Greta Tate
McKenzie Bivens
Paris Gates
LuLu McNease
Kaylee Miller

HMS Sends 54 Beta Students to Convention


         

Houston Middle School sent 54 Beta students to Biloxi, Miss., for the 2018 State Jr. Beta Convention March 28-April 1. Students competed in areas of academics, visual arts, talent, technology and highlighting their club.  HMS was well represented and plans to continue to compete each year.  Trinity Buggs placed 1st in speech competition and is eligible to attend the National Beta Convention in Savannah, Georgia, in June.  The list below includes the students who competed.

 

Front Row – Trinity Buggs, Speech

                      Kennedy Pearson, Math

                      Aimee Buckley – Social Studies

                       Katie Hill – Special Talent

                      Alexis Ellison – Digital Art – Photography

                       Telysia Guido – Color Photography

                      Seninah Conway – Tshirt Design

                        Rhianna Criddle – Banner

Second Row – Ivette Gonzalez – ELA

                           Jocelynn Loaeza – Banner; ELA

                           Alyse Neal – Banner

                           Karis Autry – Spotlight Your Club

                           Laura Ann Gann – Banner

                           Kalena Williams – ELA

                           Ramiya Armstrong – Spotlight Your Club

                           Breeanah Bell – Banner

Third Row – Jalen Washington – Science

                           Kayleigh Estes – Handmade Jewelry

                           Carrie Bivens – Advertising Design; Math

                           Jasmine Key –Tower of Power

                           Kaliyah Prophette – Wreath

Back Row – Jocelynn Burton – Advertising Design

                    Sommer Fredrick – Black/White Photography

                  Amber McIntosh – Social Studies

                  Khloe Flake – Banner; Science

                  Precious Cooper – Tower of Power

                  Greer Nabors – Quiz Bowl

                  Khenyia Williams – Essay

                  Malik Price – Science

                  Julius Lyons – Tower of Power

                  Peyton Dotson – Quiz Bowl

                  William Vance – Quiz Bowl


HMS Students Place at Regional Science Fair

Congratulations to the following HMS students who advanced to the NEMCC Region IV Science Fair in Booneville, Miss., on March 23 and March 27.

March 23rd: Kennedy Pearson, Makiya Chandler, John Hodge Murphree and Aimee Buckley

March 27th: Maddox Clouse, Jaylee Sullivan, Zariya Williams, Latasha Burt, Khloe Flake, Will Wright, Hayden Crump, Christopher Alexander, Raven Hall, Yessica Zarate, Chloe mitchell, Blakely Andrews and Hydiea Farr

Special recognition goes to the following students who placed at the regional science fair:

Will Wright- 2nd place Chemistry (Advances on to State Science Fair)

Raven Hall & Hydiea Farr - Winners of the American Meteorological Society Award & NOAA's 2018 Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award

Za'Riyah Williams & Yessica Zarate - Regional Water Prize Award


HMS students compete in MCTM Math Competition


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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.


                


Houston Middle School participated in the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) district math competition at ICC today. Representing HMS were local winners Sarah Brassfield and Alexis Ellison (8th grade) and McKenzie Bivens and Maddox Clouse (7th grade). McKenzie Bivens placed 2nd in the district competition today and will go on to compete at state on April 7. Third place local winners Rihanna Criddle and Kaliyah Prophette also attended but did not compete.

Congratulations to Jahiem Brownlee, winner of the National School Breakfast Week $24 Wal-Mart gift card. 


Jahiem was eligible for the drawing, because he ate breakfast every day this week in the cafeteria at HMS! 

Jahiem Brownlee, winner of the National School Breakfast

HMS Choir Performs for community

One Voice

HMS Choir Performs for community


HMS Celebrates "Graduation Awareness Month"

HMS spotlights high school graduation and college/career.

School facade

   Grade-Wide Assemblies

Lee Womack (Game Warden) - 6th Grade

Lee Womack (Game Warden) - 6th Grade

Lajaysha Echoles Gaston (Nurse Practitioner) - 7th Grade

Lajaysha Echoles Gaston (Nurse Practitioner) - 7th Grade

Tony Cook (HSD Superintendent) - 8th Grade
Tony Cook (HSD Superintendent) - 8th Grade

HMS Career Expo 
HMS Career Expo Football Coach

Football Coach

HMS Career Expo Politician

Politician

HMS Career Expo Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer

Venue Hall
HMS Career Expo
HMS Career Expo Animal Trapper

Animal Trapper

HMS Career Expo Meteorologist

Meteorologist

HMS Career Expo Social Worker

Social Worker

HMS Career Expo Sky Diver

Sky Diver

HMS Career Expo Robotics Engineer

Robotics Engineer

HMS Career Expo Chemist

Chemist

HMS Career Expo Travel Agent

Travel Agent

HMS Career Expo Interior Designer

Interior Designer


HMS Career Expo Baseball Player

Baseball Player

HMS Career Expo Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent

HMS Career Expo Accountant

Accountant

HMS Career Expo Fishermatn

Fisherman

HMS Career Expo Screen Writer

Screen Writer

HMS Career Expo Photographer

Photographer

HMS Career Expo Architectural Drafter

Architectural Drafter

HMS Career Expo Demolition Engineer

Demolition Engineer

HMS Career Expo Electrician

Electrician

HMS Career Expo Veterinarian

Veterinarian

HMS Career Expo Secretary

Secretary

HMS Career Expo Truck Driver

Truck Driver

HMS Career Expo Bike Designer

Bike Designer

HMS Career Expo Medical Physics

Medical Physics 

HMS Career Expo Marine Biologist

Marine Biologist

HMS Career Expo Mechanical Engineering Technician

Mechanical Engineering Technician

HMS Career Expo Athletic Shoe Designer

Athletic Shoe Designer

HMS Career Expo EMT

EMT

HMS Career Expo Coroner

Coroner

HMS Career Expo Forensic Artist

Forensic Artist

HMS Career Expo Informatics Nurse Specialist

Informatics Nurse Specialist

HMS Career Expo Marriage & Family Therapist

Marriage & Family Therapist

HMS Career Expo Neurosurgeon

Neurosurgeon

HMS Career Expo Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner

HMS Career Expo Childcare Aide

Childcare Aide

HMS Career Expo Actor

Actor

HMS Career Expo Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner



HMS Occupation Day

Students in grades 6th - 8th grade dressed up for their future career
Students in grades 6th - 8th grade dressed up for their future career and answered questions about the job duties, salary range, and education/training needed for their career.


Hall Decoration Contest 

Hall Decoration Contest 8th Grade
Hall Decoration Contest 8th Grade

8th Grade Hall

1st Place

Hall Decoration Contest 8th Grade
Hall Decoration Contest 6th Grade
Hall Decoration Contest 6th Grade

6th Grade Hall

2nd Place
Hall Decoration Contest 6th Grade
Hall Decoration Contest 7th Grade
Hall Decoration Contest 7th Grade

7th Grade Hall

3rd Place

Hall Decoration Contest 7th Grade

College Scavenger Hunt

 College Scavenger Hunt Info Board
Each month our students in ICT do a college scavenger hunt to learn information, such as tuition and scholarships, about different community colleges and universities. Teacher Academy then displays this information on a bulletin board in our commons area.


College Wall 

College Wall

Our teachers attended college, and our students can, too! Follow the road to success!



Itawamba Community College Tour 

Our 8th graders visited ICC Tupelo and Fulton campuses Friday, Feb. 16. Students split into groups and visited either health sciences programs or transportation programs at the Tupelo campus. All students participated in a campus tour at Fulton.

Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour              
Itawamba Community College Tour                 
Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour                 
Itawamba Community College Tour             
Itawamba Community College Tour                 
Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour


Itawamba Community College Tour                 
Itawamba Community College Tour



HMS 8th Graders compete 

in Science Bowl

From L - R: Alexis Ellison, Jessica Torres, Sarah Brassfield, Ollie Franklin, and Payton Dotson

From L - R: Alexis Ellison, Jessica Torres, Sarah Brassfield, Ollie Franklin, and Payton Dotson competed in the Mississippi Regional Middle School Science Bowl on Feb. 3, 2018, at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Miss. (Not pictured: Coach Kay Borst)


Science Fair Winners

 Science Fair Winners
 Science Fair Winners


 Science Fair Winners


 Science Fair Winners                 

Behavior Science Division: 1st place- Hayden Crump

Botany Division: 1st place- ZaRiya Williams & Yessica Zarate; 2nd place- Raven Hall & Hydia Farr

Chemistry/ Medicine & Health  Division: 1st place- Maddox Clouse; 2nd place-Kennedy Pearson; 3rd place-Chloe Mitchel & Latasha Burt; 4th place- Jaylee Sullivan; 5th-Tre Gillespie & Dylan Hughes; Honorable Mention-Alyssa Murphree; Honorable Mention- Jamalik Wofford

Physics/Engineering Division: 1st place- Jon Hodge Murphree; 2nd place- Qudarius Conway; 3rd place-Christopher Alexander; 4th place- Aimee Buckley; 5th place-Will Wright; Honorable Mention- Blakely Andrews & Khloe Flake; Honorable Mention-Makiya Chandler


HMS School choir performs

Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin With Me
HMS School choir         Songs included: "Let There Be Peace on Earth," "The Little Drummer Boy" (featuring drums by HHS student Jamorris Morgan, and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (featuring rhythm by Khloe Flake and Malik Wofford).

Jr. Beta Club Induction

Houston Middle School inducts 92 students into the Jr. Beta Club.

Jr. Beta Club Induction
Jr. Beta Club Induction
Jr. Beta Club Induction         `
Jr. Beta Club Induction
        

HMS Science Teachers meet Apollo 13 Astronaut

HMS science teachers Kountess Pierce, Amy Alford and Kay Borst pose with Fred Wallace Haise, Jr

HMS science teachers Kountess Pierce, Amy Alford and Kay Borst pose with Fred Wallace Haise, Jr., American former NASA astronaut, fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force and test pilot. The teachers met with Haise at the Mississippi Science Teacher's Association conference in Biloxi, Miss., in late October. Haise is one of 24 people to have flown to the moon, having flown as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 13. He went on to fly Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests in 1977. He retired from NASA in 1979.


HMS Reading Fair 

Overall 1st Place Winners

1st Place Individual Fiction Category - Taylor Pulphus

1st Place Individual Fiction Category - Taylor Pulphus 

1st Place Group Fiction Category - Payten Dotson & Malik Price

1st Place Group Fiction Category - Payten Dotson & Malik Price 

  1st Place Informational Text - RJ Utz

1st Place Informational Text - RJ Utz


HMS Receives 

Dollar General Grant

 HMS Receives  Dollar General GrantThe Houston Middle School library was the recipient of a $2,000 dollar Youth Literacy Grant awarded by The Dollar General Foundation. The funds will be used to strengthen the literacy efforts at HMS. Presenting the check for Dollar General: Mr. JC Kendrick (District Manager, Region 41) and Mrs. Tara Evans (local Store Manager). Danna Harrell is pictured receiving the check for the HMS Library.

HMS/PACE Awards Ceremony

Students in grades 7th - 9th grades earn incentives for high and improved test scores from state tests taken last spring at HMS.

Incentives were funded by PACE (Partners in Achieving Community Excellence).

9th Grade $100 Earners

9th Grade $100 Earners

Front Row (L-R):  Allison Blansett, Michael Ann Chandler, Cade Ellison, Brianna Hughes, Jaden Johns, Paige Kilgore and Jacob Mchann. Back Row (L-R): Abbigale Blansett, Justin Morgan, Zalexus Atkinson, Cali Barnett, Kaitlynn Murphree, Cote Pena, Grace Tate, Morgan Young, Jaiden Linley and Keyae Morgan.

8th Grade $100 Earners

8th Grade $100 Earners

Front Row (L-R): Gibson Caulder, Ollie Franklin, Makinzi Moore, Jessica Torres, Heather Blakely, Olivia Funderburk, Alexis Ellison and Maddie King. Back Row (L-R): Payten Dotson, Haylie Pettit, Precious Cooper, Sarah Brassfield, Brantley Brown, William Vance, Kalena Williams, Kheniya Williams and Whitney Walters.

7th Grade $100 Earners

7th Grade $100 Earners

Kahner Moreno, Trey Mims, Andrew Hall, Maddox Clouse and McKenzie Bivens

Students won a variety of incentives:

1) Students who scored a 96 or higher on the ELA or math state tests received $100.

2 Students who scored a proficiency level of 5 on either test received a trip to the movies during the school day, popcorn at the movie and lunch at Pizza Hut.

3) Students who scored a proficiency level of 4 on both the ELA and math tests received a pizza party and a 50 minute break.

4) Students who scored a proficiency level of 3 and/or 4 on both the ELA and math tests received an ice cream party and a 50 minute break.

5) Students who showed growth from the previous school year received a snow cone party and 50 minute break.

6) The top three scorers on the 8th grade science test and the Algebra 1 State test earned $25 gift cards.

Bullying Procedures for Processing a Complaint

about 1 year ago

By Shane Presley

Procedures for Processing a Complaint  

Any student, school employee or volunteer who feels he/she has been a victim of bullying or harassing behavior, or has witnessed or who has reliable information that a student, school employee or volunteer has been subject to bullying or harassing behavior shall report such conduct to a teacher, principal, counselor or other school official.  The report shall be made promptly but no later than five (5) calendar days after the alleged act or acts occurred.  The school official shall complete a “Bullying/Harassing Behavior” complaint form which shall include the name of the reporting person, the specific nature and date of the misconduct, the names of the victim of the misconduct, the names of any witnesses and any other information that would assist in the investigation of the complaint.  The report shall be given promptly to the principal or superintendent who shall institute an immediate investigation.  Complaints against the principal shall be made to the superintendent and complaints against the superintendent shall be made to the Board chairman.    

The complaint shall be investigated promptly.  Parents will be notified of the nature of any complaint involving their student.  The District official will arrange such meetings as may be necessary with all concerned parties within five (5) working days after initial receipt of the complaint by the District.  The parties will have an opportunity to submit evidence and a list of witnesses.  All findings related to the complaint will be reduced to writing.  The District official conducting the investigation shall notify the victim and parents as appropriate when the investigation is completed and a decision regarding disciplinary action, as warranted, is determined.   

 If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the District official, he/she may submit a written appeal to the superintendent.  Such appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the results of the initial decision.  The superintendent will arrange such meetings with the victim and other affected parties as deemed necessary to discuss the appeal.  The superintendent shall provide a written decision to the victim’s appeal within ten (10) working days.   If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the superintendent, a written appeal may be filed with the Board.  Such appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the decision of the superintendent.  The Board shall, within twenty (20) working days, allow the victim and parents as appropriate to appear before the Board to present reasons for dissatisfaction with the decision of the superintendent.  The Board shall provide a written decision within ten (10) working days following the victim’s appearance before the Board.

Houston School District’s Grad Rate Soars More Than 20 Points in Two Years
Houston, MS: Official graduation rates for Mississippi school districts were released this week, and the Houston School District increased its graduation rate to 89.1%.

In 2015-2016, the graduation rate of HSD was 67.6%. The following year, the rate was 82.9%, just barely under the state average of 83%. The state graduation average for 2017-2018 is 84%.

“This most recent graduation rate is also a 30 point jump from 2010, during which the district’s graduation rate was 58.2%,” said Tony Cook, HSD superintendent.

Increasing the graduation rate has been a major goal of HSD since Cook became superintendent.

“Higher graduation rates means that more students have a better opportunity for success in life after high school, whether they go to college or straight into the workforce.” said Cook.

Cook is also quick to point out that improving the graduation rate is not just a high school issue, but rather a joint effort elementary through high school.

“We track year-to-year progression and put an emphasis on graduation beginning in pre-K and continuing through 12th grade,” said Cook. “We have also hired a graduation coach to make sure at-risk students at the middle and high school levels are on track for graduation.”

School attendance is also heavily monitored at each building and interventions are put into place for those with chronic absences. Academic interventions are also implemented to increase student growth.

The Houston School District is also providing special opportunities for students who are behind, as well as students who are advanced.

“Early graduation is offered to students two years behind grade level to ensure they complete school,” said Cook. “We also provide opportunities for our advanced students through the Duke Tip program, PSAT and increased numbers in our accelerated courses.”

The Houston School District is also promoting graduation through college walls, college field trips, graduation banners, guest speakers, college scavenger hunts, college bulletin boards, career expos, career days and college days.