Hernando Mayor Tom Ferguson, as an airline captain and pilot, no doubt is used to delivering special packages, as in people and cargo. Ferguson’s past has also included time flying a crop-duster airplane to deliver important crop protection products to fields for area farmers.
Tuesday, Ferguson’s mission was also to deliver; as in deliver, on behalf of the Homer Skelton Charitable Foundation, a check for more than $43,000 to the DeSoto County School District to benefit elementary schools in Hernando.
In particular, the donation will provide technology upgrades at three elementary schools in the city.
A total of 24 desktop personal computers for the teachers of Hernando Elementary School will be purchased through the funding. In addition, Hernando Hills Elementary and Oak Grove Central Elementary schools will each receive six interactive projectors for classroom use.
“The youth of Hernando is the future for our city,” Ferguson said as he visited Hernando Elementary School Tuesday morning as part of the check presentation. “The donor (Homer Skelton) asked that the school district survey principals at the schools to see what the greatest needs were. It is their hope that this will help the elementary teachers provide more resources for the classroom and make their jobs easier as well.”
Tuesday’s presentation is an addition to what the foundation continually does to benefit DeSoto County Schools, said Supt. Cory Uselton. School officials said the foundation saw a special need, which initiated the donation to Hernando grade schools.
“We’re very fortunate to have many community members who are generous in their donations to our school district,” Uselton said. “We’re also very fortunate to have the support of all of our mayors in DeSoto County. Mayor Ferguson has been a long-time supporter of our school district and he’s already shown that he is fully committed to helping our school district.”
Hernando Elementary School is a kindergarten and first grade only location. Principal Renee Triplett expressed her gratefulness for the infusion of funding.
“The Homer Skelton Foundation always helps us,” Triplett said. “We’ve had many things in the past and these new computers will help all of my teachers, because they take many things home all of the time and this will help them better serve their children and our community.”
First-grade teacher Martha Liston, whose class includes children who don’t have English as their primary language, said now all of her children will benefit with the help of the new computers.
“I’m definitely going to use it to get some games and also to translate, to help them learn and speak English,” Liston said. “I have five children who right now speak both English and Spanish and today we just got number six. “We have programs that we will be able to use it for. I will use it to write my lesson plans in, to plan out my week and be able to take it back and forth from home and be able to write my lesson plans from home, as well.”
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.