Arrow Tracks

  • Forensic sciences at Lovett

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 12/19/2014
    Lovett Elementary gifted students can tell you a few things about forensic pathology.
    After an introduction to forensics, the students chose a forensic discipline to research, and prepared presentations for the class. The disciplines chosen were anthropology, pathology, toxicology, odontology, trace evidence, fingerprinting, podiatry, document examination, ballistics, chemistry, biology, entomology, track impressions and engineering.
    “Students also chose a lab to do with the class,” said ACCENT teacher Ellen Brunson. “They did a wonderful job presenting their discipline and labs.”
    As part of the forensics unit, Forensic Biologist Leslia Davis spoke to students about DNA and her work at the Mississippi State Crime Lab.
    “Then, Dr. Naomi Campbell, a professor at Jackson State University, came two days to do a toxicology drug screening test and a gunshot residue screening test with the students,” Brunson said.
    The third guest was Margaret Sanborn, a lab technician from Noxubee General Hospital, who presented a lab on blood cells.
    “These presentations definitely enhanced the students’ learning,” Brunson said.
    The Clinton Association for Gifted Children, a booster club for the Clinton Public School District’s gifted program, provided microscopes for students to use in their lab activities.
    “They were able to examine fiber, insects, fingerprints, various kinds of blood cells, and hair with these microscopes,” Brunson said. “We were also able to purchase male and female skills and pelvises to enhance the students’ understanding of anthropology.”
    After the holidays, the class will study the judicial system and role-play cases in the courtroom.
    Go Arrows!
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  • December Teachers of the Month

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 12/18/2014
    Congratulations to the Froghead Grill Teachers of the Month of December! Each of these teachers received a certificate suitable for framing and a gift card to the Froghead Grill restaurant.
    Winners are:
    Clinton Park, Myra Kinchen. 
    Northside, Samantha Richards (center). Presenting her award is (from left) Assistant Principal Kelli Pope and Principal Joy Tyner.
    Eastside Elementary, Catherine Pannell (right). Presenting her award is Dr. Jamilliah Longino, assistant principal:
    Lovett Elementary, Lynn Crowe. Presenting her award is Principal Mike Pope:
    Clinton Junior High, Rebekah Rowland. Presenting her award is Dr. Bill Hardin, principal:
    Sumner Hill, Kathryn Evans. Presenting her award is Principal John Wallace:
    CHS Career Complex, Tempress Holly-Lanyuy. Presenting her award is Principal Brett Robinson:
    Clinton Alternative School, Tyler Wade. Presenting his award is Principal Teresa Duke:
    Not pictured is CHS Teacher of the Month Bobby Stewart.
    Congratulations to all these teachers and thank you to Froghead Grill for sponsoring these awards!
    Go Arrows!
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  • Child Nutrition Web site

    Posted by communications intern Chelsey Hutchins at 12/17/2014
    Parents, teachers, and students now have quick access to nutrition and fitness information through the CPSD department of child nutrition’s new Web page.
    “Our new Web page gives us an opportunity to shine a positive light on our child nutrition program,” said Regina Ducksworth, director of child nutrition. “The health and wellness of the students in Clinton Public Schools is very important to us.”
    The new site offers quick access to nutrition information, how students are being educated on healthy living, and will allow students to play games that promote healthy lifestyles.
    “Students, teachers, and parents will have access to an array of information that can be used in the classroom and at home,” she said.
    Parents may find information on how to maintain healthy habits at home, and teachers can find nutrition resources for the classroom. There are also links to interactive sites, health organizations, and recipes for the entire family.
    While several changes and additions have been made, the Web page is still easy to navigate and some may find it more useful. In addition to viewing the lunch menus, breakfast menus are now available on the site as well. Parents may continue to make online payments towards their child’s meals.
    Starting in January, the department of Child Nutrition is going paperless with menus. They may be viewed online on the new site or sent via email.
    The new Web page reinforces CPSD’s emphasis on coordinated school health under its five-year strategic plan. CPSD and each of its nine schools have a wellness policy with key areas including nutrition education, physical activity, and other school based activities that are designed to promote student wellness.
    Users may find how each school is implementing the wellness policy and information on childhood obesity and its risks.
    “The site is comprehensive, focused on nutrition and fitness, and includes nutrition specific educational lesson plans, videos, calculators, and tools,” said Keba Laird, supervisor of child nutrition.
    Newsletters and other content on the page will be updated as needed.
    To view the site, visit, mouse over the "Departments" link and click on Child Nutrition.
    Go Arrows!
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  • Delayed Start Times

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 12/15/2014

    As cooler weather sets in, we are planning to use delayed start times in icy weather to prevent school closures.

    Lovett snow 1

    The move is an effort to reduce the number of weather-related school closures that the district must make up later in the school year. Instead of closing school when roads are icy, the district will use the option to start at the following times:

    • 9:25 a.m.: Clinton Park Elementary, Northside Elementary, Eastside Elementary

    • 9:50 a.m.: Lovett Elementary, Clinton Junior High

    • 10 a.m.: Sumner Hill, Clinton High School

    The delayed start schedule will be used only when we feel the roads will clear later in the morning. While the start will be delayed, we will end our day at the regular scheduled times.

    Although school will start later, the district would still ask staff to come to school at the regular time or when it is safe to be on the roads. Parents who are working or who feel uncomfortable leaving their child at home should be able to drop off their child at school and know that they will be supervised by school district staff.

    State law requires that school districts hold 180 days of school. When districts close school for snow or any other reason, they must make up the lost day later in the school year.

    Announcements about delayed start times, school closures and other emergency information will be posted on, on Facebook at, on Twitter at, issued to parents on the SchoolWay mobile app, and via the Key Communicator Network e-mail newsletter. To subscribe, mouse over the “News” link on and click “Key Communicator.”
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  • CHS Career Complex

    Posted by communications intern Chelsey Hutchins at 12/12/2014
    Formerly known as the Clinton Vocational Education Center, the Clinton High School Career Complex has been a part of the Clinton Public School District since 1975, and is one of the vital factors in preparing students for the real world beyond high school and college.
    “At the Career Complex, we introduce students to high skill, high wage, and high demand careers,” said Brett Robinson, Clinton Career Complex principal. “We are committed to producing graduates who possess the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in their future educational endeavors and career choices. We take pride in developing a first-class workforce.”
    Ninth-grade students at Sumner Hill are required to enroll in Career Keystone, a class that places a heavy emphasis on professionalism, career exploration, interviewing skills, and setting goals. Students are recruited and encouraged to take advantage of what is offered at the Career Complex.
    Programs offered at the Career Complex include:
    •    Automotive Technology (Charlie Melton)
    •    Construction (Travis Dyar)
    •    Culinary Arts Technology (Chef Adam Williams)
    •    Digital Media (Tempress Holly-Lanyuy)
    •    Health Science Core (Laura Little)
    •    Health Science II (Chasity Keenan)
    •    Information Technology (Bill McIlwain)
    •    Teacher Academy (Kathy Greene)
    •    Career Pathway Experience, housed at CHS (Kathleen Foshee)
    Once students matriculate to CHS, they may enroll in a program for one or two years. Career Complex courses count as a 2-credit elective option.
    In early December, an advisory committee luncheon was held to discuss the status of the Career Complex and its future. The advisory committee is made up of local community, education, and business leaders in order to positively influence the students.
    “We need and welcome their knowledge, advice, and help to ensure our graduates are on the right path to meet future needs,” said Robinson. “Our doors are always open.”
    Student ambassadors from each program attended the luncheon to speak about their studies at the center.
    “I appreciate the skills I learned in Career and Technical Education,” said Emily Long, Culinary Arts Technology student. “Skills of team work, problem solving, leadership, and professionalism will all serve me throughout my life.”
    Edwin Campbell, a second-year Digital Media student also said the career and technical education is preparing him for his future college and career choice.
    Mayor Phil Fisher, Alderwoman Jan Cossitt, and Superintendent Phil Burchfield were also in attendance.
    Enrollment at the center has increased by 64 percent within the last three years, now having 301 students. Projected enrollment for the 2015-16 school is more than 350 students.
    Robinson has been the principal of the career complex since 2012. In the future, he hopes to add more programs that focus on high skill and high demand careers in engineering, law and public safety, business and marketing, and logistics.
    “I would like to see students have increased opportunities for internships and job shadowing,” he said. “I would like to see our business and industry partnerships continue to grow. These are all invaluable means of ensuring our instructors are providing students with training that meets the future needs of our workforce.”

    Career Complex Stats
    •    31 seniors at CHS are in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2015                  
    (4 of those are CTE students) One student is in the top 10
    •    40 juniors at CHS are in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2016
    (8 of those are CTE students) Four students are in the top 10
    •    44 sophomores at CHS are in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2017
     (14 of those are CTE students) Two students are in the top 10
    •    The Clinton Career Complex is one of the first CTE schools in Mississippi to offer dual enrollment opportunities (Carpentry and Information Technology) through a partnership with Hinds Community College.

    In 2013—2014:
    •    Culinary Arts Technology I students at CHS were one of only two programs statewide with a 100 percent pass rate on the ProStart National Certification Exam.
    •    Automotive Service Technology students ranked third in the state based on test scores and won second place at the Ford/AAA national competition in Dearborn, Mich. (Note: In the past 8 years, CHS students won first place six times in the national competition in Michigan.)
    •    Forty-nine students earned passing scores on national certification exams in Culinary Arts Technology and Information Technology.
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  • December DOVE Award

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 12/11/2014
    MarkThompson Lovett Elementary custodian Mark Thompson quietly walks the halls of his school, cleaning the rooms, encouraging teachers and greeting students.
    And on Wednesday, Principal Mike Pope surprised him with the news that he received a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — customer service award for the month of December.
    “Mr. Thompson is our custodian, but also a friend to all of us here at Lovett,” said sixth-grade gifted teacher Ellen Brunson. “My first year at Lovett, and every year after, Mr. Thompson helped me move furniture, take out trash, hung things for me, helped me with my curtains, and offered to help in any way.
    “He had a smile on his face and expressed his thankfulness for his job and the people he works with at Lovett.”
    The DOVE Award is given each month during the school year to an employee who goes above and beyond in showing customer service to students, parents and the community. A five-member DOVE award selection committee chooses each winner from a pool of nominations.
    “Mr. Thompson always goes above and beyond,” said Lovett office manager Shannon Garlington. “Over the summer he started having back problems and had to be out some right before school started. Even though he was in constant pain, he still did his very best to get our school ready for the new school year, and all with a smile.”
    Thompson will be formally honored at the January school board meeting, held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13 at Central Office.

    Anyone can nominate a CPSD employee via the online form on or by filling out a paper form in school front offices.
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  • Eastside Basketball Court

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 12/10/2014
    This spring, fourth and fifth-graders at Eastside Elementary will have a new addition to their playground.
    The school is building an outdoor basketball court through funds provided by the Parent Teacher Organization.
    “We have been planning for a long time to add playground equipment to our facility,” said fourth-grade teacher Marcy McDonald, who is coordinating efforts to build the outdoor court. “The goals on the playground right now are not on a court and in areas that are not suitable to play a game.”
    A PTO grant covered the cost of the court, goals and basketballs. The foundation has been poured and the goals will be up in January, McDonald said.
    “At the end of the year last year we were able to give $14,000 to Eastside,” said PTO Co-President Amanda Pennington. Principal Cindy Hamil “asked for help with the purchase of the basketball goals and we were able to use part of our profits from the fall fundraiser to pay for them.”
    The new basketball court is just one of the ways that Eastside encourages health and wellness through physical activity.
    In 2011, the school was one of 32 nationwide that won a $10,000 grant through the National Football League’s Back to Football Friday contest. In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the school to kick off the Let’s Move! campaign national tour.
    “Eastside promotes health and wellness with all students, faculty, staff, and families,” McDonald said. “With the new court and goals we hope that it will allow more children to be active throughout their play periods.”
    Congratulations to Eastside and thank you to the PTO for your support.
    Go Arrows!
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  • Track & Field spring events

    Posted by communications intern Chelsey Hutchins at 12/9/2014
    State champion track and field coach Johnathan Perkins is developing a strong future for the Clinton High School program.  
    “Track and field in the state of Mississippi doesn’t get the same recognition as the three big sports: football, basketball, and baseball,” he said.
    To show children how enhancing the sport is, Perkins and his staff will be hosting a mini-camp this spring. The camp was designed to teach fundamentals, techniques, and training methods for sprints, distance, and long jumpers.
    In addition to the camp, they will host the second annual Fastest Kid on the Block competition. The competition was designed for children age 7-12, and they will be able to compete in a run ranging from 100 meters to 1,600 meters.
    Last year, there were 30 participants in the competition. This year, the coaching staff is looking for the number to increase.
    “I am highly motivated in showing our younger CPSD students how fun and important track and field is,” Perkins said.  “And with the Fastest Kid on the Block and Mini-camp events that I have started, I am giving them a chance to experience track and field at an early age.”
    In 2013, Johnathan Perkins was named the head girl’s and boy’s track and field coach at CHS. Since then, he and his staff have coached six individual 6A State Champions, three 6A State Relay Championship teams, and won their second straight Mississippi 6A Girls Track & Field State Championship.
    Registration for the camp is $25 through Feb. 15, and $40 for late registration will be Feb. 16-28. Mini-camp registration fees also covers the cost of Fastest Kid on the Block and a T-shirt.
    For those that do not participate in the camp, the entry fee for the Fastest Kid on the Block competition only is $5. Both events will be held in March 2015 at the Clinton High School track and field complex.
    For more information about the mini-camp or “Fastest Kid on the Block”, contact Jonathan Perkins at 601-924-5656.
    Complete applications and release forms, along with cash, check, money order, or cashier’s check should be mailed to:
    Jonathan Perkins
    Clinton High School
    401 Arrow Drive
    Clinton, MS 39056
    Make checks out to:
    Clinton Track Booster Club
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  • November Teachers of the Month

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 12/8/2014
    Congratulations to the Froghead Grill Teachers of the Month of November! Each of these school winners received a gift card from Froghead Grill and a certificate to hang in their classroom. School winners are:
    Clinton Park, Stacie Geiger (left). Presenting the award is counselor Dru Dilley:
    Northside, Jesse Emling. Presenting his award is Principal Joy Tyner:
    Eastside, Stacy Billger (center). Presenting the award are (from left) Assistant Principal Dr. Jamilliah Longino and Principal Cindy Hamil:
    Lovett, Kayla Long. Presenting the award is Principal Mike Pope:
    Clinton Junior High, Dodie Keyes. Presenting the award is Principal Dr. Bill Hardin:
    Sumner Hill, Courtney Harris. Presenting the award is Principal John Wallace:
    Clinton High School, Bryce Yelverton (left). Presenting the award is Assistant Principal Kelly Heath:
    CHS Career Complex, Lisa Lann. Presenting the award is Principal Brett Robinson:
    Clinton Alternative School, Anna Handy (left). Presenting the award is Principal Teresa Duke:
    Congratulations to all these teachers and thank you to Froghead Grill for sponsoring these awards!
    Go Arrows!
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  • CPSD Teacher of the Year

    Posted by communications intern Chelsey Hutchins at 12/5/2014
    Leigh Curtis has taught for more than 20 years, and her passion for education is still as deep as ever.
    “I have three children of my own, but I add to this number each year,” she said. “As we become a family, I am not only the developer of the unique potentials of these children, but I also have a great desire to learn about every aspect of their lives.”
    On Friday, Curtis was named Clinton Public School District’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year. She was presented the award at Eastside Elementary in a surprise presentation in her classroom.
    “Her love of children is displayed in each and every lesson she presents,” said Eastside Principal Cindy Hamil. “Each lesson is carefully planned so that the children are exposed to creative thinking and higher level skills. She is truly giving our students the best foundation they can get.”
    Curtis earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Mississippi State College for Women, where she earned certifications in elementary education, K-8, special education, and gifted. She received a Master of Education degree in counseling from Mississippi College.
    Curtis has taught at Eastside for 18 years, and she is the gifted teacher for fourth-grade students.
    Curtis is involved in numerous professional and community organizations, and her exceptional path as an educator is well known to many.
    “Leigh is an educator who is highly creative in her own right, which allows her to craft learning experiences which will benefit her creative and intellectually gifted students,” said former colleague Tommye Henderson.
    Having designed a classroom to encourage critical thinking and promote constant interaction, Curtis also wrote an original play that is performed annually, The Clintonians of Eastsideshire.
    “I consider myself extremely blessed to be an educator,” she said. “Helping our future to be lifelong learners with a true joy for capturing the excitement in the acquisition of new things is at the core of my educational values.”
    Selection process
    During the fall semester, each of the Clinton Public School District’s nine schools chooses a Teacher of the Year to represent their building. The 2014-15 Teachers of the Year, by school, are:
    • Clinton Park, Jordan Osborn
    • Northside, Jana Carter
    • Lovett, Ginger Clark
    • CJHS, Carol Ann Franklin
    • Sumner Hill, Kelli Kelly
    • CHS, Zachary Osborn
    • CHS Career Complex, Adam Williams
    • Clinton Alternative, Nicole Dramis
    Of these nine school winners, a district Teacher of the Year is selected by a five-judge panel of education administrators from other school districts and local universities.
    The teachers are interviewed by the panel, and must also submit a resume, letter of recommendation and a written philosophy of education.
    The district Teacher of the Year represents CPSD in the state Teacher of the Year program in the spring, sponsored by the Teacher Center at the Mississippi Department of Education.
    Congratulations to Mrs. Curtis and Go Arrows!
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