Flowers retiring at SP high school

Published 1:04 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

By Jeremy Weldon

South Panola High School principal Rodney Flowers will retire at the end of the current school year, district trustees learned this week. He will be replaced by 9th grade principal Jason Matthews.

Superintendent Tim Wilder reminded board members the high school has moved from a D rating to a B grade under Flowers’ leadership, and the environment there I would put second to none as far as education.”

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“When you talk about valuable administrators to the school district, Mr. Flowers has certainly been that for me the last six years,” he said. “He has done as well as anyone we could have put in that position and I very much appreciate what he has done for the children of this school district. I probably don’t tell him that enough, but that’s how I feel.”

Flowers has served the district in several assistant principal and principal roles, the last four as head of the high school.

In other school district news, the trustees received a proposed calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The draft reflects a later date for beginning Christmas break, and allowing for a later return to school. Wilder said teachers and parents in the district had urged him to consider the move, which would bring South Panola’s break in line with other area schools.

Additionally, President’s Day would not be a school holiday next year, and just one inclement weather day. If more days are need for snow or ice next year, the district would look at taking away the Easter Monday holiday, and adding days to the end of the year.

The state mandates students must attend school 180 days and teachers 187 days. When circumstances warrant, graduating seniors are allowed to count 175 days as a full school term.

If the proposed calendar is approved, teachers will start the 2019-20 year on Aug. 1, and first day of school for pupils will be Aug. 7. Fall Break will be Oct. 11-14, Thanksgiving Nov. 25-29, and Christmas Dec. 20-Jan. 6.

Spring Break 2020 will be March 9-13 and last day for students is set for a 60 percent day on May 22. Graduation is set for Saturday, May 23.

Also at the school board meeting Tuesday, trustees approved a fifth work order change for the indoor facility currently under construction. Lettering for the Indoor will cost $21,677 and will spell out Gateway Tires in 36-inch blue letters on two sides of the building and Indoor Practice Facility will be spelled out underneath in 24-inch red lettering.

The total contract amount, including about $200,000 in change orders, is now $3.5 million. Wilder said the contractor, Hooker Construction, has been able to move faster since the building was put “in the dry” and work should be completed closer to the original anticipated feature.