DeSoto County Schools (DCS) board members had a chance to congratulate themselves and be congratulated before passing policies Thursday after coming back with awards from the Mississippi State Board Member Association meeting in Jackson.
Most notably was an honor to longtime board member Ann Jolley, named as Mississippi’s School Board Member of the Year during the recent meetings held in Jackson.
Jolley, first elected to the DCS oversight board 29 years ago, has served under four district superintendents, from Erland Nichols to Jerry Baird, Milton Kuykendall and current Supt. Cory Uselton.
Jolley won election on her second election try after losing her first attempt by 40 votes to Harry Rasco. In her successful election race, Jolley defeated three other challengers.
The Maryland native attended secretarial school following her high school graduation in Towson, Md., before her eventual move to Mississippi. Jolley is married to husband Raymond and the couple have two grown sons and five grandchildren. She represents District 3 on the DCS School Board.
MSBA state official Scott Bryan of Lawrence County made the presentation to Jolley at the recent state meeting.
The board as a whole also received individual and group commendations for their training efforts as board members.
In Supt. Uselton’s portion of Thursday afternoon’s recessed meeting, he also noted that Horn Lake Elementary School instructor Tammie Miller has been named Mississippi’s Outstanding Elementary School Science Teacher for the year and that 19 students from DeSoto County Schools had been named as National Merit Semfinalists. The figure is the second-highest figure from one graduating class representing the state’s largest school district.
In other business before the school board Thursday, members approved the best and lowest bids on several items, divided into line items according to Assoc. Supt. for Operations Keith Williams, for cleaning and paper supplies. Two requests to pay a vendor, despite violation of the district’s purchasing rule, were also approved.
In executive session, board members discussed litigation and personnel issues, as well as student discipline matters and two requests for early graduation.
NEW MEETING TIME: Thursday’s meeting reflected a recent move to a 3 p.m. start time for recessed meetings. However, Uselton has announced all meetings for the school board will now begin at 3 p.m. Previous school board meetings had been held the first and third Thursdays at 5 p.m.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.