School gathering honors Rankin Blue Ribbon

TUPELO – The superintendent came. The former superintendent was present. So was the mayor.
They all were at Joyner Elementary on Wednesday to celebrate the national Blue Ribbon won by Rankin Elementary School last week.
Because of the Tupelo Public School District’s school reorganization this year, many of the teachers who were at Rankin last year when it was a kindergarten through third-grade school are currently at Joyner, now a K-2 school.
Glenda Scott, the principal at Rankin during its Blue Ribbon application, is now the principal at Joyner.
“Y’all are the missionaries of Tupelo,” Mayor Jack Reed Jr. told teachers. Reed was one of five speakers at Tuesday’s event, joined by Superintendent Randy Shaver, Assistant Superintendent Fred Hill, former Superintendent Randy McCoy and Scott.
“It is very exciting that the district takes time out to celebrate and recognize the actions of teachers,” Scott said after the ceremony. “They are the ones in the trenches and they are the once that deserve recognition.
“To have Dr. Shaver plan this celebration lets us know that this is going to be his focus and we need to continue to get better at our craft.”
The challenge now for Scott and her staff at Joyner is to bring the practices that were successful at Rankin to Joyner. The award can help bring together the teachers Scott hasn’t worked with before who are adjusting to a new principal.
“They don’t know me, but this validates that the things that we were doing were the right things,” said Scott, who said her focus is on studying data and reaching every student. “This speeds up people getting on board.”
It also inspires the teachers to carry on that momentum.
“I think great things are happening,” said Carmon Dye, who teaches second grade at Joyner after doing the same last year at Rankin. “When you get recognition for something you didn’t expect to get recognized for, it can motivate you and inspire you.”

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal