Petal celebrates school board appreciation month


The Petal School District Board of Directors met for the second regular meeting of 2018 on Tuesday.

In celebration of School Board Appreciation Month, students from each school in the district honored an individual board member with personalized performances and skits, and even a knighting ceremony.

Additionally, some students invited the board members to visit their schools so they might see the impact their role on the School Board has on the overall positive educational environment.

“I’m very blessed to work with five gentlemen that really care about students, staff members and doing what is best for our district,” Petal School District Superintendent Dr. Matt Dillon said. “In every decision they have to make in this board room, they are always putting students first.”

The meeting kicked off with the recognition of two teachers who achieved their National Board Certifications this academic school year. The board recognized Paige Perkins from Petal Primary School and Gwen Anne Merrill from Petal High School.

Dillon added that there are over 50 teachers, counselors and administrators have achieved Board certification, and several others are currently working toward that as well.

“We are so thankful to have so many in our district that have been through this process,” Dillon said. “We want to continue to support them, and we want to thank them for their hard work.”

Dr. Dillon also addressed the Board in regards to the three days that were missed due to the recent inclement weather. 

First, the Board approved that the snow day in December be made up on February 19 (Presidents Day). However, Dillon recommended that the district eliminate the remaining two days that were missed due to inclement weather.

“There were no other days to exhaust other than spring break and Good Friday, unless we added them to end of the calendar,” Dillon explained. “Policy AFC allows us, when the governor declares a state of emergency, the opportunity to present it to the Board per the recommendation of the superintendent. My recommendation tonight is to eliminate those last two days of school.”

The Board approved Dillon’s recommendation.

In other action, the board:

Approved the minutes from the January 2018 meeting;

Approved policy changes;

Approved claims docket and presented financial statements

Approved fixed asset removal as presented;

Approved the following resignations: Christy Napper as a special education teacher at Petal Primary School; Taylor Townsend as a part time teacher Assistant at Petal Primary School; Angela Halbert as a teacher at Petal Elementary School; Apryle Knight as a teacher at Petal Elementary School; Jana Bennett as a teacher at Petal Upper Elementary School; Philip Pigott as a teacher/coach at Petal High School; Morgan Skinner as head volleyball coach at Petal Middle School; Tina Turner as a bus driver and Mandi Booker as a special education teacher;

Approved the following retirements: Lowery Hicks as an ICT teacher at Petal Middle School; Charles Leggett as a PE teacher at Petal Middle School; George Smith as a PE teacher at Petal Middle School; Christine Brown as a teacher at Petal High School and Leslie Carita Vidrine as Educator in Residence at the Central Office;

Approved the following recommendations: Heather Brown as a teacher at Petal Elementary School; Alison Dicks as a special education teacher assistant at Petal Middle School; Alicia Gaworski as a special education teacher assistant at Petal High School; Cory Reynolds as a teacher/coach at Petal High School; Melissa Tomlinson as an inclusion teacher at Petal High School; Racheal Herrin for the athletic department; Rena Hyatt as a nutrition assistant; Russell Andrus as Network Technician at Petal Primary School and Regina Passman as a bus driver;

Changed Gwen Anne Merrill’s status to add National Board Supplement;

Approved a donation from Forrest County Sherriff’s Office to the Petal School District Police Department for a 2009 Ford Expedition;

Approved a donation from Boardwalk Pipeline Co. to the Petal School District for seven four-drawer filing cabinets;

Approved a donation of $2000 from PPS PTO to Petal Primary School for maintenance of the playground;

Approved out of state student travel for PHS JROTC to travel to drill competition in Slidell, LA on March 10;

Approved the 2018-2019 school calendar as presented;

Approved motion to change March meeting date from March 13 to March 20 due to spring break.