City school district honors parents for volunteer work

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Brookhaven School District’s Parents of the Year werehonored Tuesday night during the school board’s monthlymeeting.

Jackie Crawford took home the district honors as well as theparent of the year for Brookhaven High School.

“She was basically a booster for every child at Brookhaven HighSchool,” said Principal Susan Chapman of Crawford’s volunteerservice as president of the football booster club.

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Chapman also joked about how Crawford, who was a cheerleader andvoted friendliest when she attended BHS, was still the headcheerleader for the school.

Assistant Superintendent James Tillman told the parents thatsuch involvement had a “significant impact on school improvementefforts in the district.”

“Research has shown that parental involvement is one of the mostcritical assets of success,” he said.

The numerous hours Leanna Crozier spent at Mamie MartinElementary School last year was beneficial to the students andteachers there, according to Principal Danita Hobbs.

“She has been involved in most everything you can think of,”said Hobbs.

Another parent, Vickie Driskell, also frequented the educationsystem often, with one of her tasks being vice president and thisyear’s president of the Parent Teacher Association at BrookhavenElementary School.

“Mrs. Driskell was at the school every day, I think,” said BESPrincipal Pam Fearn.

Christy Sims, a former teacher, was honored for her service as amentor and a parent who helped needy children, among othervolunteering she did at Lipsey Middle School.

“She hasn’t quit working for the school since she left as ateacher,” said Principal Rita Rich.

One of the many accomplishments of volunteer parent MamieThadison was creating a reward party for students at AlexanderJunior High School, but the list was long during the time her childwas a student at the school.

“For the past two years she played a very intricate part atAlexander,” said Principal LeVander German. “She loved Alexander,not simply because her child was there.”

Judy Townsend had a unique role at Brookhaven Technical Centerlast year as parent of a student and a teacher. She was activelyinvolved in several school committees as well as planning aChristmas luncheon.

“Mrs. Townsend has demonstrated a consistent willingness toserve in any capacity that she can,” said Director JohnnyWaller.

Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds praised all of the parents fortheir assistance in making the Brookhaven School District what itis today.

“We would not be half the district we are if it weren’t forparental involvement,” he said. “We are the real winners because ofyour involvement in the school.”

He also encourage the parents to continue being a part of theschool system and to offer suggestions for improvement whennoted.

“The commitment, the love and just the caring, mean so much andwe thank you,” said board president Gwendolyn Sartin.

Following the presentation of certificates to the parents, boardmembers Sartin, Dr. Prentiss Smith and Karen Braden continued theirmeeting with an informative discussion, involving Dr. VickiBodenhamer, executive director of Mississippi School of theArts.

She complimented the work of the district and the community inmaking MSA students feel welcome during their first few weeks ofclasses at MSA and BHS.

“Things are going well and our students seem to be happy,” shesaid.

Board members reiterated that the district is willing to work inany way to accommodate students from MSA. Members voiced theirhopefulness that MSA students will become involved in BHS andBrookhaven activities, such homecoming and the Ole BrookFestival.

“Everybody in the community, including our board, wants yourschool to be a success,” said Smith.