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MSA schools say things going well

Brookhaven School District officials reported a good start tothe new school year at the monthly board of trustees meetingTuesday.

Board members also received an update on the status of theMississippi School of the Arts from the school’s executive directorDr. Vicki Bodenhamer.

She reported an increase in students from last year, with theaddition of a junior class, bringing the total to 110 students.

“The year’s going well,” said Bodenhamer. “The kids seem to besettling in, and school is off to a great start.”

She complimented the faculty in their efforts to help MSAstudents adjust as they take some of their classes at BrookhavenHigh School.

Bodenhamer also reported that the school was already ahead ofbudget for the 2004-05 school year.

“We’re looking to close the school year in the black rather thanin the red,” she said.

Board members said they were glad to hear all was going wellwith MSA as well as good reports from the district.

They approved student handbooks for the new year with only minorchanges.

Before the motion to approve the handbooks, board member CarlAycock asked about the funding for the elaborate BrookhavenElementary School handbook, which included a planner forstudents.

Board member Karen Braden, who had a child at BES last year,said she believed the extra expenses were paid for by parents.

As a sign the year is off to a good start, interimSuperintendent James Tillman pointed out that two teachers alreadyhave received honors for their efforts in education.

Brookhaven High English teacher Thomas Ann Gatlin was named tothe governor’s teacher advisory council, while BHS band directorZachary Harris was named director of the all-state concert band,Tillman said.

Tillman also reported that a BHS Web site and a tailgating areacalled Panther Park were under construction and should be completedsoon.

During open discussion, board chairman Dr. Prentiss Smiththanked Tillman for his service as interim superintendent andwelcomed Lea Barrett, who will become the district’s superintendentSept. 1.

“I’d like to thank the board for all the hard work you’ve put induring the (superintendent) selection process,” Smith said

He announced that a reception would be held 3:30-5:30 p.m.Friday at the Brookhaven Vocational-Technical Center to welcomeBarrett to her new position.

Aycock called for a close to the regular meeting as boardmembers adjourned into executive session to discuss personnelmatters.