NASD school board honors STAR student and teacher, outstanding kindergarten teachers
Published 4:14 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023
NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District Board of Trustees honored a STAR Student and Star Teacher from Natchez Early College, as well as nine kindergarten teachers whose students showed marked improvement on the Mississippi Kindergarten Assessment test.
Ciera Demby scored a 30 on her ACT and has an overall average of 97 in her classwork from ninth through 12th grades. She is the Natchez Early College STAR student. She chose Kendra Williams as her STAR teacher.
The STAR student-teacher program is administered by the Mississippi Economic Council to recognize student-teacher achievement. The program requires STAR students to achieve a 25 or higher on the ACT and to have a minimum average of 93 in the students overall scores in English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Foreign Language using averages from grades nine through 12.
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The STAR student designates a teacher from any grade of their education who was pivotal in their learning experience. Williams taught Demby sixth- and eighth-grade science. She is now a counselor at Natchez Middle School.
Demby, who also earned an associates degree from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, plans to further her studies at the University of Louisiana Monroe. She plans a career as an occupational therapist.
In addition, nine kindergarten teachers at three elementary schools were honored because of drastically improved scores on the annual test used to determine kindergarten students’ readiness to move forward with the education process.
The test, given kindergarten students toward the end of the year, is the Mississippi Kindergarten Assessment and required by the state board of education.
• McLaurin Elementary teacher Felicia Mann’s students had the highest student performance in the MKAS assessment for the school and for the district. Her class average was 769 and 95 percent of students met the 681 target score.
• McLaurin Elementary teacher Carla Irving’s students showed more than 200 points of student growth in the assessment and her class average was 701.
• McLaurin Elementary teacher Karen Vines’ students showed more than 200 points of student growth and her class average was 709.
• Morgantown Elementary teacher Jessie Dorsey’s students had the highest student performance in the assessment at that school. Sixty-seven percent of her students met the 681 target and showed more than 200 points of student growth in the testing. Her class average was 709.
• Morgantown Elementary teacher Stephanie Latham’s students showed 200 points of growth in the assessment and her class average as 696.
• West Elementary teacher Dianne Verucchi’s students had the highest performance on the assessment at the school and 87 percent of her class met the 681 target. Her class average was 727.
• West Elementary teacher Ruthie Abraham’s students had more than 200 points of growth on the assessment and 87 percent of her students met the 681 target. Her class average was 727.
• West Elementary teacher Sherry Gaines’s students showed more than 200 points of growth on the assessment and had a class average of 717.
• West Elementary teacher Catrina Hauer’s students showed more than a 200 point growth on the assessment.
In other business, the district’s governing board approved:
• the acceptance of a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to train employees on ways to save energy in the district and to train staffers and students to understand the importance of energy efficiency.
Natchez-Adams School District was one of only two in Mississippi to receive the grant. Only 25 school districts in the country were awarded the grant.
• an administrative retreat at the Mississippi Research and Development Center in Jackson for 30 administrators in the district. Deputy Superintendent Zandra McDonald said a ballpark figure for the cost of the retreat is $20,000, which would pay for hotel accommodations and travel by district vehicles. She said the funds used would come from federal sources because the retreat is considered professional development.
• baccalaureate services for Natchez High School for May 28 at the Natchez Convention Center.