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Lincoln County schools honor teachers, parents and retirees

Three teachers sitting near the front row wore T-shirts that said what most of the other educators in the room were thinking: “Dear Parents, Tag. You’re it.”

Dozens of teachers and administrators and a few award-winning parents gathered Wednesday at the Brookhaven Building for the Lincoln County School District end-of-the year meeting and recognition ceremony.

“The word must of got out that I’m speaking today. It’s standing room only,” Lincoln County School Superintendent Mickey Myers joked.

For the most part, Myers spoke seriously, congratulating the teachers on a great year and urging them to continue to reach their students. “We never want to settle for less than our best,” he said.

Myers encouraged teachers and principals to show professionalism at all times to their students. “I don’t think many of you understand how much influence you have on students’ lives,” he said.

During the presentation, he remarked about the loss of two students during the school year.

Dakota Wyland, who was a 17-year-old senior from Enterprise High School, was killed Nov. 1 when his car ran off Bogue Chitto Road and struck a tree.

Lillian Gracie Hux, 12, died March 11. She was a student at Loyd Star Attendance Center.

“She was a special child who touched a lot of lives,” Myers said.

He also remembered a teacher and a coach who died unexpectedly this year.

Virgie Mae Britt Beach died of cancer Feb. 3.

The sister of Coach Gene “Moochie” Britt, she began her teaching career in Lincoln County at Loyd Star at only 20 years of age and taught there for 37 years.

Justin Sawyer, who was hired in February to take over the football program at West Lincoln, died in his sleep at home in Summit Feb. 18 from an apparent heart attack.

Sawyer, 36, was set to take over as the head coach of West Lincoln starting in July after spending three years under Lawrence County head coach Jaymie Palmer as defensive coordinator.

Myers thanked the teachers and parents for all the hard work they do before presenting awards for Teacher of the Year and Parent of the Year.

Parent of the Year awards went to:

• Jennifer Newman, West Lincoln Attendance Center.

• Rebecca Guynes, Bogue Chitto Attendance Center.

• Karen Shipp, Loyd Star Attendance Center.

• Kelly Porter, Enterprise Attendance Center.

Porter was also named the Lincoln County Parent of the Year.

Teacher of the Year awards went to:

• Lorrie Lofton, who teaches special education at West Lincoln Attendance Center.

• Chase Wallace, who teaches U.S. history at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center.

• Lacie Case, who teaches third grade math, science and social studies at Loyd Star Attendance Center.

• Gina Riley, who teaches elementary classes at Enterprise Attendance Center.

Lofton was also named the Lincoln County Teacher of the Year.

Myers also recognized several retiring members of the Lincoln County schools team — Billy Vaughn, John Gray, Danny Russell and Gwen Dickey — and recognized Jeremy Berry, for winning the Mississippi School Nutrition Association’s Director of the Year award.