Headlines Cont. – 1/27/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 27, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – January 20, 2006


Dugger named superintendent of North Panola School District
     Trustees of the North Panola School District (from left) are Billy Russell, Cecil Dowden, Tracy Thompson, Rosa Wilson and Pearl McGlothian. The board attorney is Alix Sanders (right). Dowden, the board president, welcomed Thompson as their newest member in January, 2006.
By John Howell Sr.

The North Panola School District’s Board of Trustees named Glendora Dugger as superintendent and welcomed newly-elected trustee Tracy Thompson at their monthly meeting Monday night, January 23.

Justice court judge James Appleton administered the oath of office for Thompson while her husband and children stood with her.

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Dugger has served as interim superintendent since former superintendent Robert Massey was placed on leave in September, 2005. Massey subsequently resigned.

Trustees voted to appoint Dugger as superintendent for the remainder of the 2005-’06 school year.

Cecil Dowden was re-elected board president; Pearl McGlothian was elected vice president and Rosa Wilson was elected secretary in secret balloting among trustees administered by board attorney Alix Sanders.

In other business the trustees:
Selected the Johnson, Bailey, Henderson, McNeal Education Group for special consulting services for students in Como Middle School and North Panola High School;
Appointed the Day CPA group to provide as-needed financial counseling at $80 per hour for up to 16 hours per month;
Approved Levette Upshaw as the district’s agent in obtaining federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
Approved application for a $250,000 grant from the State Department of Education;
Accepted a $50,000 mentoring grant, also from the State Department of Education, for Como Middle School. The grant was available because of the restructuring status of the school. Trustees agreed to spend $21,000 for the services of Debbie Childress of the Northwest Mississippi Education Consortium, $10,000 for supplies with the remainder to be spent with another consultant from the State Department of Education’s list of approved providers.
Trustees questioned about returned funds
By John Howell Sr.

Education advocate Julius Harris raised questions Monday night about the amount of money received from the state by the North Panola School District and then returned.

Harris regularly attends the school board’s meetings to raise issues during the three minutes allowed for each person who wants to make public comment. Harris stated several amounts that had been cited in recent meetings as having been turned back to the state.

"Over the last 10 years, I wonder how much the North Panola School District has sent back to the state," Harris said.

"I’m concerned about who is accountable for it, who knows its here and how it should be spent," he added.

Harris’ comments followed an executive session during which the public was excluded from the meeting room.

At the end of the executive session, board attorney Alix Sanders reported that he had told trustees that he’d received a tort claims letter. Such letters of notification are required of persons who intend to sue the district, Sanders said.

The attorney also said that the trustees had "some things they wanted to say to each other" prior to electing board officers. The secret balloting that followed the executive session re-elected Cecil Dowden as board president. Pearl McGlothian was selected as vice president and Rosa Wilson as secretary.

Accepting the recommendations of superintendent Glendora Dugger, North Panola School District trustees approved the hiring or relocation of district employees as follows:

Lucinda Carter, assistant superintendent; Kelly Walls, North Panola High School math teacher; Michael Satcher, NPHS history/social studies teacher; Evelyn Cummings, Como Middle School lab technician; Craig Chapman, CMS computer discovery teacher; Kiwanis Flowers, special education paraprofessional at Green Hill Elementary School; Georgia Callicutt, reading/language arts at North Panola Alternative School; Georgia Ford, long term substitute at NP Alternative School; Yolanda Taylor, 7th/8th grade tutor, CMS; and Switzerland Bonner and Darrell Lewise, teacher’s assistants, NPHS.

The trustees also accepted a resignation and approved a medical leave of absence.

McCullar awarded Bronze Star for capture of terrorist cell
Batesville native Captain Tripp McCullar was recently awarded the Bronze Star following his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Participating in international operations in 15 countries, McCullar is currently serving in Germany as Executive/Military Aide to Deputy Commander of the NATO Allied Land Component Command serving with various delegations throughout Afghanistan and Europe.

McCullar received the medal for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States while in Iraq.

The commendation cites his leadership of his unit in the "capture of six task force and brigade High Value Targets and the capture of a terrorist cell that gained attention of national level assets.

"McCullar and his team effectively defeated the enemy during an Anti Iraqi Forces ambush, eliminating 12 members without loss of life in his detachment. His grasp of military counterinsurgency doctrine has allowed him to build excellent rapport with the combat team in his sector."

McCullar served as Detachment Commander for his 10th Special Forces unit.

The award stated that when McCullar arrived the Iraqi Army Battalion wasn’t capable of conducting platoon operations effectively.

"McCullar instituted a training regimen for the battalion, providing it with credible intelligence collection and targeting capability. His actions are in keeping with the finest tradition of military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Special Operations Command Central and the U. S. Army," the commendation stated.

A 1992 South Panola graduate, McCullar was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army upon graduation from Ole Miss in 1997 where he received the Outstanding Army ROTC member award from Chancellor Robert Khayat.

He served with the 82nd Airborne as executive officer in charge of preparing the Division’s Long Range Surveillance Detachment to deploy world wide within 18 hours of notification. He was also certified as a U. S. Army Ranger and became a member of the "Green Beret" Special Forces unit in 1998.

A member of the invasion force in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, he served as commander of his team in Kosovo, and returned to Iraq in 2004 as detachment commander.

McCullar is the son of Lynn Jones McCullar of Batesville and Shelby and Donna McCullar of Pontotoc.

Tuesday rally to encourage academic goals
An "I Can Achieve" rally on Tuesday for Boys and Girls Club members will encourage them to set goals for academic improvement.

The rally will be held at the TVEPA auditorium beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The speaker will be Lisa Catron of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The rally, one of 200 such events being held across the country, will draw attention to the club’s Goals for Graduation program.

The academic goal-setting program provides members with a variety of one-on-one, small group and large group activities to support academic goal-setting, learning and success in school.

Working with Boys and Girls Club staff, participants develop three sets of goals: achievable Know-I-Can goals, more challenging Think-I-Can goals and yearly Believe-I-Can goals.

A fun and motivational "I Can Achieve" academic pep rally kicks off the goal-setting process, with a pledge from participants to commit to the goals they have set.

The program is sponsored by the JC Penney Afterschool Fund.

"The JC Penney Afterschool Fund has provided us with the resources we need to create a comprehensive and effective curriculum that encourages kids to excel," said Belinda Morris, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi.

"We know from research and firsthand experience that kids need support in order to excel. Otherwise, they accept lower standards of academic achievement, which can result in lower aspirations for higher education."

The JC Penney fund contributed $1,000 to the local club for the program.



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