Lamar. Lumberton school board approve district lines

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The Lamar County and Lumberton school boards approved new district lines at both meetings last Monday for two reasons.

The obvious reason is both districts are the first ones to voluntary consolidate, requiring new lines to be drawn to include Lumberton into the Lamar County School District. The consolidation goes into effect on July 1, 2018.

The new district lines were also needed for the Lamar County School District because of the recent departure of School Board member Mike Pruitt, who moved out of the district he was representing. Filling his spot on the school board with the current lines would have been moot without the updated district lines because consolidation would have forced new district lines anyhow.

The two school districts began advertising the updated district lines in today’s newspaper editions. A complete description of each board member district is on file for inspection at the Office of the Lamar County School District at 424 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Purvis and the Office of the Lumberton Public School District at 107 10th Ave. in Lumberton during normal business hours.

Transition Administrator Bryan Giles, the former Oak Grove Upper Elementary School assistant principal, was tasked with working to make the transition of Lumberton into the Lamar County School District smoother as the two districts combine their services, faculty and students. As the new school year begins for both districts, Giles said the early stages have involved just getting familiar with the people and processes.

At the Oct. 17 Lamar County School District Board meeting, President Buddy Morris presented Pruitt with a plaque of appreciation for his 11 years on the board and spoke about Pruitt’s no-nonsense service to the district.

“Mike and I have definitely not seen eye-to-eye, which has been a good thing for me,” he said. “It has made me, I think, a lot better board member than I would have been if Mike had not been on the board. Mike is unique in that he brings a lot of different things to our board and they are good things. Mike has a lot of different insight that, honestly, brings a different dynamic to our board that makes us look at things that sometimes we might not have normally looked at or have found if it had not been for Mr. Pruitt.”

Reading from a prepared statement at the October meeting, Pruitt thanked the school district “for the way you have handled growth and society’s continuing changing parameters should make every parent, every student, every member of this community honored to be a part of this district.”

Superintendent Tess Smith said resumes and letters of interest are being accepted in the district’s Administrative Offices for anyone who wants to become the next board member in District D.