By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Fourteen Northeast Mississippi school districts were honored by the state school board association at its annual fall leadership conference on Tuesday.
The Mississippi School Boards Association’s Lighthouse School Leader Awards Program recognizes districts for student achievement on state tests.
Thirteen Northeast Mississippi districts received the Lantern Award, the second highest one given. It goes to districts that have a B letter grade from the state with no schools below a C. Recipients included Amory, Booneville, Clay County, Corinth, Itawamba County, Monroe County, New Albany, Oxford, Pontotoc City, Pontotoc County, Tishomingo County, Tupelo and Union County.
Statewide, 31 districts received Lantern Awards.
“The Lighthouse winners have made student achievement job one,” said MSBA Executive Director Mike Waldrop. “Boards and superintendents within these districts obsess about whether or not the children are learning, and, if not, why.”
Clay County and Holly Springs each won Torch Awards, which are given to B schools in districts that have at least a C ranking with 90 percent or more of their students participating in the federal free- and reduced-lunch program. That program is for low-income students.
To win a Torch Award, districts must also have no schools graded F. Holly Springs High School and Holly Springs Junior High School both received the award with B grades, as did West Clay Elementary.
Four Mississippi districts were given Torch awards.
The MSBA’s highest award is the Beacon Award, which is given to districts with an A grade. That award went to Clinton, Enterprise and Pass Christian schools this year.