Lee County school system announces honors

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

SALTILLO – Jason West believes that for children to be successful, they must have positive role models.
Candace Moore feels her mission is to educate children with skills that apply to real-life situations.
Both individuals were honored Tuesday night when the Lee County School Board chose West as its Parent of the Year and Moore as its Administrator of the Year. The selection was announced at the district’s school board meeting at Saltillo High School.
West represented Mooreville Middle School, but he also has children at Mooreville High School and Mooreville Elementary. This summer, he helped build a platform for an outdoor classroom at Mooreville Middle School after his wife won a grant from Lowe’s for the project. West’s wife, Sonya West, is a seventh-grade reading teacher at Mooreville Middle School.
“Most of the time, he’s there helping out before you ask him,” Mooreville Middle School Principal Craig Cherry said. “He’s upbeat and positive.
“When he worked on the classroom this summer, it was one of those bad days, like 110 degrees, and he was out there working.”
West, who works at Lane Furniture Industries, also has served as a volunteer baseball coach for the junior high baseball team and has helped prepare classrooms at the schools during the summer. He’s also a minister of music at Brewer Baptist Church.
“I just believe in setting an example for my kids and my community,” West said. “Those things mean the most to me, and I hope it shows in my life.
“When people have positive role models, it is reflected in who they are and the way they turn out in society.”
West said that it is important for parents to work hard and be involved with schools.
“The principals depend on you more than you would ever know,” school board President Sherry Mask said.
Moore is in her second year as principal at Shannon Primary School. She’s also been a principal at Saltillo Elementary and an assistant principal at Plantersville, Saltillo Elementary and Saltillo Primary. Prior to coming to Lee County, she was program developer and test coordinator in Union County.
Moore has 11 years of administrative experience and 17 years in education. She has a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership from the University of Mississippi.
“This award really means a lot because Lee County Schools have some of the best principals I’ve ever worked with,” Moore said. “We really work together as a team.”
Shannon Elementary Principal Ida Brand said she has a great working relationship with Moore.
“I’m very happy for her that she received this award,” Brand said. “We work as a team, and we work closely to make sure all of her students coming to my school have the best possible start in education.”
Moore said that her philosophy of education is to “teach a student how to live by developing the mind and equipping the individual to thrive in society.”
“Our job is to educate children socially, emotionally, academically as well as physically,” Moore said. “We mold children so they can learn to think for themselves and to apply knowledge in real-life situations.”

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.