Fluker honored for service to HPSD

By DAVID TISDALE,

Outgoing Hattiesburg Public School District Trustee Patricia Fluker has confidence the district’s faculty members, staff and administrators can help its students become among some of the state’s top achievers going forward.

A veteran HPSD educator who served as a student counselor at Hattiesburg High School during her career, Fluker completed her five-year term August 13 at the board’s regular monthly meeting, when she was honored with a plaque by fellow board members and the district recognizing her service.

“I’ve enjoyed my time on the board, and I hope I’ve made a difference,” Fluker said of her tenure. 

Eddie Holloway will assume the seat being vacated by Fluker at the next board meeting.

Fluker said she believes the district’s personnel are dedicated to helping its students achieve, and looks forward to its schools returning to the status they held in previous years as being among the best in Mississippi. Among achievements she’s proudest of that occurred during her time on the board, she noted the district’s ability to recover from a serious budget shortfall, and the support of voters to approve renewal of an ad valorem tax that will fund improvements to schools throughout the district.

Among those HPSD employees Fluker is relying on to help the district embrace its 2019-2020 theme “Excellence Without Excuses” include Tekeica Chapman and Jeronda Allen, new principals at Lillie Burney STEAM Academy and Rowan Elementary School, respectively.

Chapman comes to Lillie Burney after having served as an assistant at Hawkins Elementary for the past three years, while Allen will lead Rowan after seven years as principal at Woodley Elementary.

Allen praised the positive energy of her staff and the students as they began the new school year last week, and praised the support the school has received from community partners and alumni of the school when it was Hattiesburg’s all-black high school up until the early 1970s, prior to full integration of the district. She noted that the Rowan High School Class of 1969 has ‘adopted’ the school for this academic year.

“It’s a real positive, family environment at Rowan,” Allen said. “The students are excited, the teachers are excited, and I’m looking forward to a great year and helping our students do their best.”

Chapman echoed Allen’s sentiments, expressing gratitude to her faculty members at Lillie Burney for working with her over the summer to help her become acclimated to a new school environment.

“I want to develop a positive school culture in a place where teachers want to come to work and where students want to come to school,” Chapman said. 

The next HPSD Board of Trustees regular meeting is set for Sept. 10.

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