Arrow Tracks

  • Cultural Awareness Society

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/24/2014
    Clinton High School is a diverse place.
    “We have students who are Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and from many other cultures,” said CHS senior Khoula Saleem. “We want to highlight these cultures and how they contribute to the world.”
    The school held a Culture Night on Tuesday, featuring food, clothing, music and even dances from around the world. The new Cultural Awareness Society, formed this year by CHS students, sponsored the event.
    “It’s important for students to know what’s going on in the world,” said society co-founder Divya Gosain. “When we first started this group, we weren’t expecting a big turnout but over 60 people joined. We were really proud.”
    The Cultural Awareness Society focuses on specific holidays and traditions each month. In March, they highlighted the Indian holiday Holi, which is known as the festival of colors.
    “It’s kind of like the Color Run,” she said. “We’re not running but we throw colors at each other. We all have colors on us and you can’t see the color behind it. It shows that we are all equal.”
    The group has focused on Syria, the Philippines, the Jewish culture and different parts of Africa.
    Tuesday’s event was a fundraiser for the group, and included plate dinners featuring multi-cultural foods, a fashion show and other events. The event was held in the school cafeteria and more than 50 students, teachers and parents attended.
    Diana Wox, a senior, set up a booth with dolls, coffee beans and hand carved wood items from Guatemala, where her parents are from.
    “There is a lot of diversity between the different countries,” she said. “All of these things are from Guatemala and they show the culture there.”
    Eeman Hamdan, a CHS junior who is from Jerusalem, prepared a mix to make Henna tattoos for her classmates.
    “Henna tattoos are traditionally worn at weddings,” she said. “It’s made from the same dyes that women use for their hair, to give it a red-orange color.”
    Eeman and her sister Sujood Hamdan wore traditional Arabic dress and displayed at their booth several hand-made dresses and items for women and men.
    Thanks to the students and faculty who made this event possible and Go Arrows!
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  • State tests

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/23/2014
    State testing is under way and will continue through mid-May. For schools, the tests are about much more than rankings and accountability.
    KimGriffin “State tests assess what students have learned and provide insight into a student’s progress,” said Kim Griffin, the Clinton Public School District’s director of testing and federal programs. “It measures the academic performances of students but never determines a person’s worth.”
    Each state measures student progress in reading, math and science. In Mississippi, schools administer the Mississippi Curriculum Test, commonly referred to as the MCT2, in grades 3-8. The Mississippi Science Test is given in grades 5 and 8, and the Subject Area Testing Program, or SATP, is given for students in Algebra I, Biology I, English II and U.S. History.
    “These assessments provide valuable information for our school district, our schools and our teachers,” Griffin said. “We constantly look for ways to improve, so of course, measuring growth in student achievement is a key piece to the puzzle.”
    CPSD encourages parents to be aware of the testing schedule and help their children prepare. It’s normal for students to be nervous about the tests, Griffin said, but test prep in the weeks prior to test dates helps lessen student anxiety.
    “We ask that parents not schedule any appointments on test dates and keep weekly activities to a minimum during this time,” she said. “Please stay positive when discussing testing with your children. The state tests are a great way for children to show off what they’ve learned this school year.”
    On testing dates, it’s important that children are well rested, eat a good breakfast, and arrive at school on time or early.
    “Please encourage your children to give their very best on the test,” Griffin said. “If children are anxious, good strategies are to take deep breaths, stay focused and remember that the tests are an opportunity to shine.”
    CPSD teachers also have worked hard to prepare students.
    “There should be no surprises for students on the state assessments,” said Assistant Superintendent Tim Martin. “Not only do our teachers teach the necessary skills, they also focus on the format of the test so students know what to expect.”
    In addition to measuring students’ learning, test scores also help school districts plan professional development for teachers.
    “They allow us to celebrate our strengths and to see our areas of weakness,” Griffin said. “We try to meet the needs of every child, and the data helps us identify those needs.”
    For upcoming test dates, visit the Clinton Public School District calendar at For more information about the state tests or to volunteer to proctor, contact Griffin at
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  • Miss Amazing

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/22/2014

    It takes confidence, grace and poise to compete in a pageant, and this weekend, three Clinton students captured titles at the Miss Amazing pageant.

    The Miss Amazing pageant is based on the belief that “all people should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential,” according to the pageant Web site. “Through the structure of the Miss Amazing pageant and other Miss Amazing programs, we hope to give girls and women with disabilities that opportunity.

    “In an atmosphere built around encouragement and support, we believe the Miss Amazing pageant can bring the community together and encourage further inclusion for individuals with special needs.”

    Erin Jenkins, 13, participated in the junior teen division for girls age 13-15, and was crowned Princess in her division. Tremilya Bracey, 19, and Ashley Martin, 16, participated in the teen division for ages 16-19. All three are enrolled in the Life Skills program at Clinton Junior High School.

    Clinton students (from left) Erin Jenkins, Ashley Martin and (far right) Tremilya Bracey competed in the Miss Amazing pageant this weekend. Also pictured is former Clinton Arrow Heather Boyte.

    For her talent, Tremilya sang Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you.” Ashley sang LeeAnn Womack’s “I hope you dance” and Erin performed a liturgical dance.

    “Ashley was crowned first runner up and Tremilya was crowned Mississippi Miss Amazing 2014,” said Lindsay Pardue, Life Skills teacher at Clinton Junior High. “This is a huge honor for Tremilya and all her family, friends, teachers and classmates are very proud of what she’s accomplished.”

    Tremilya has the opportunity to compete in the National Miss Amazing pageant planned for Aug. 6-9 in Omaha, Neb.

    Pardue said all three girls had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the pageant.

    “This was a new experience for them, and it was a great self-esteem builder and confidence booster,” she said. “I’m so proud of all of them, and I hope they’ll continue in this program again next year.”

    Pictured from left are special education teacher Kacy Parks, Erin Jenkins and special education teacher Lindsay Pardue.

    The Miss Amazing pageant also focuses on community service; to compete, participants provide five cans of food that are donated to local food pantries and homeless shelters.

    "This feature of the organization not only allows the participants to become active members of the community, but also ensures that their participation in the program is in no way detrimental to their family's economic situation," according to the program's Web site. "This is how Miss Amazing Inc. offers girls with disabilities the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills from the Miss Amazing pageant to become community leaders and change makers."
     Congratulations to these students and Go Arrows!
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  • Arrows aim for 6A tennis title

    Posted by sports information intern Christopher Huggins at 4/21/2014
    Tennis began in the early 1970s, and the Clinton Public School District is continuing the sport’s history with a strong 2014 team.
    “My philosophy of the game is that practice makes perfect,” said head tennis coach David Duke.  “I really believe in that saying because you have to get that exact muscle memory of how to hit certain shots. You have to practice every day to get that muscle memory.”
    The team recently defeated Starkville in the first round of 6A playoffs. They play Tupelo in the second round, planned for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 at Rob Leake Park.
    Playing in a singles tennis match is much like being a pitcher in a baseball game, he said. All the attention is on one individual and their movements and shots the game.
    “It is a lot of pressure,” Duke said, “in that you do not have other people on the court playing with you. You’re all by yourself unless you’re playing doubles. Tennis is a pressure sport, so we have to practice under pressure also.”
    Saideep The leader on the team is freshman Saideep Reddy. Last year, he played for the state finals in mixed doubles. This year he is playing singles.
    “He is one of the best in the state and he’s only a freshman,” Duke said.
    In boys doubles, Chandler Duke and Eric Prather are undefeated. Duke said the Arrows also have very good girls doubles teams in Alden Hartley and Robin Russell, and Sara Catherine Joseph and Siri Yarlagadda.
    “Both groups of our girls are really good and are competitively equal, and that really helps our team,” he said. “We have other players who we work in and out to give us the strong edge we need to compete.”
    Duke feels the Arrows can compete with any other team in the state.
    “We played Madison Central, a team that played Ocean Springs last year for a state title,” he said. “Madison was the top team in the north and the No. 2 team in the entire state. We were undefeated going into that match. We played them as close as we could have played them. We split matches 3-3.
    “It came down to the last and final match, and we lost a 10-point tie breaker in the deciding match.  It could not have gotten any closer than that.”
    After that loss, Duke tweeted that he not only knew his team could compete with the best, but now his players knew they could compete with the best also.
    And the workouts, practices and drills continue.
    “One of my favorite drills is called five-ball drills,” he said. “It consists of forehand, backhand, approach shot, forehand volley, backhand volley and overhead shots. Those are the basic strokes in tennis.”
    Tennis is complicated, he said, but it boils down to two things: serving and returning a serve.
    “As far as returning a serve, you have to hit your ground strokes,” he said. “In practice, we make sure we drill that every day, forehand and backhand. When you’re playing doubles, you have to make sure you hit your volleys and your overheads.”
    The serve is the most important concept in tennis, he added.
    “We try to hit a bucket of balls every day at practice,” he said. “Also we do lots of running or any drill just to work on the players’ stamina.”
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  • March Teachers of the Month

    Posted by Sandi Beason at 4/18/2014
    Congratulations to the Froghead Grill's Teachers of the Month of March! Each of these educators received a $10 gift card to Froghead Grill and a certificate to hang in their classrooms. Winners are:
    Gentry Booth, Clinton Park Elementary (center). Presenting the award are (from left) Principal Suzanne Hollingshead and Assistant Principal Amanda Tullos.
    Sheila Thornton, Northside Elementary (right). Presenting her award is Principal Joy Tyner.
    Russ Booth, Eastside Elementary. Presenting his award are (from left) Assistant Principal Dr. Jamilliah Longino and Principal Cindy Hamil
    Russ Booth
    Sharon Bishop, Lovett Elementary. Presenting her award is Principal Mike Pope
    Sharon Bishop  
    Virginia Case, Clinton Junior High. Presenting her award is Assistant Principal Brian Huskey
    Virginia Case
    Mary Evans, Sumner Hill Junior High (right). Presenting her award is school counselor Heather Norton
    Mary Evans
    Kim Tompkins, Clinton High School (right). Presenting her award is Assistant Principal Areda Cockrell-Harris
    Tempress Holly-Lanyuy, CHS Career Complex (left). Presenting her award is counselor Lisa Lann
    Steven Breland, Clinton Alternative School. Presenting his award is counselor Laurie Beezley
    Congratulations to all these teachers, and thank you to Froghead Grill for sponsoring this program!
    Go Arrows!
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  • World Champions

    Posted by communications intern Ellen Jo Seals at 4/14/2014
    Clinton High School’s Indoor Percussion ensemble won the 2014 Scholastic Open Class Winter Guard International competition this past weekend in Dayton, Ohio.
    percussion all  
    The group entered the competition with the highest score in the nation after winning several other competitions. Clinton Percussion won the WGI Regional in Hattiesburg and the Mid-South WGI Regional in Bowling Green, Ky. earlier in the season.
    Led by Director Kevin Welborn, the group placed first in the preliminary round at the World Championship competition. One group scored .2 higher than Clinton’s indoor percussion ensemble during the preliminary round.
    The final round of competition consisted of the top 12 out of the top 42 indoor percussion groups from around the world.
    “You can imagine the amount of cheers, tears and emotion when they announced Clinton Percussion as the 2014 World Champions,” Welborn said.
    The 35 members of Clinton Percussion received gold medals and a trophy, and were welcomed home with cheering crowds at CHS.
    “Thanks a ton to the community of Clinton for all of their support,” Welborn said.
    Clinton Percussion is comprised of 35 students in the front ensemble, battery and dancers. Kevin Welborn directs the group along with music arranger David Reeves, drill designer Nick Benson, choreographer/movement specialist Karen Prince, CHS band director Mickey Mangum, and program consultant Alan Barone. CHS/Clinton percussion alumni Kristina Mulvihill and Mississippi College student Nick Hall also help with Clinton Indoor Percussion.
    Dance Sophisticates, Innovative Percussion, ON2 Percussion, Pearl Drum Corp, Pearl Adams, Remo, The Crown Store, and Zildjian sponsor the ensemble.
    Congratulations and Go Arrows!
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  • Architecture conference

    Posted by Communications Intern Ellen Jo Seals at 4/11/2014
    Wilbourne Elizabeth Wilbourne, 7th grade art teacher at Clinton Junior High School, was chosen to attend a workshop that will benefit her class and the district.

    Ms. Wilbourne will attend the NEH Chicago Architecture Foundation’s workshop on The American Skyscraper: Transforming Chicago and the Nation.

    “I’m really excited to bring what I learn back to the classroom,” said Ms. Wilbourne.

    This weeklong workshop will consist of classroom instruction on architecture and the American skyscraper. Ms. Wilbourne will also have the opportunity to take field trips around the city of Chicago.

    “I think this conference will be beneficial because I’ll be able to get new ideas and perspectives from teachers across the country,” Ms. Wilbourne said. “I will also be able to get new ideas for my lesson plans and add the element of architecture to my curriculum.”

    With her graphic design background, Ms. Wilbourne hopes to diversify the aspects of art taught in her classroom.

    “A 7th grade art class can spark into a career,” she said. After this conference, she anticipates using the knowledge that she gained at the conference to create an architecture project in her classroom. The project may consist of building a three-dimensional model of a skyscraper or building.

    Students in Ms. Wilbourne’s classes will benefit from her attendance at the conference because they will get to experience a taste of Chicago. She hopes to share the culture of Chicago with her students through her first-hand experience.

    “The knowledge that Ms. Wilbourne will gain from attending such a selective workshop will definitely benefit her and the students of Clinton Junior High School,” said Anthony Goins, CJHS Principal. “As a first year teacher in Clinton, she has definitely been an asset to CJHS. We are very proud of her accomplishment.”

    Only 80 out of 320 teachers were selected for this conference. Ms. Wilbourne wrote an essay in order to be considered for the workshop. Her passion for art and her students helped Ms. Wilbourne seal a spot in the upcoming conference.
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  • Indoor Percussion

    Posted by communications intern Ellen Jo Seals at 4/7/2014

    In just their fifth year of existence, the Clinton High School Indoor Percussion group has shocked the indoor percussion world.

    The group took first-place at the Mid-South Winter Guard International Regional in Bowling Green, Ky. on March 23. This was their first year to perform in a higher, more advanced class. The students now advance to the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio on April 10-12.

    “In this higher classification, we have learned that Clinton Percussion is currently seeded in first-place, worldwide, before heading to WGI World Championships,” said Kevin Welborn, indoor percussion director.

    Clinton Indoor Percussion has already won the WGI regional competition in Hattiesburg this competition season. They faced four of the best open class groups in the southern region.

    This group is composed of 35 students who form the front ensemble, battery and the group of dancers. Kevin Welborn directs the group along with music arranger David Reeves, drill designer Nick Benson, choreographer/movement specialist Karen Prince, CHS band director Mickey Mangum, and program consultant Alan Barone. CHS/Clinton percussion alumni Kristina Mulvihill and Mississippi College student Nick Hall also help with Clinton Indoor Percussion.

    Their 2014 award-winning show is entitled “Sincerely.” The music is more sophisticated for the percussion section than the music for a marching band show.

    “The show takes the viewer on an emotional journey of a letter,” Welborn said. “With music that drives the production, you also hear the contents of the letter being read throughout the show.”

    The indoor percussion group uses only percussion instruments to generate the soundtrack and concept within the show. The five dancers in the show represent the letter’s “reader.”

    Dance Sophisticates, Innovative Percussion, ON2 Percussion, Pearl Drum Corp, Pearl Adams, Remo, The Crown Store, and Zildjian sponsor Clinton Indoor Percussion.

    Go Arrows!
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  • Show Choirs

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/4/2014
    Clinton’s public schools have a reputation for outstanding show choirs at the junior high and high school level.
    Attaché is a nationally ranked show choir composed of 42 singers/dancers, 15 instrumentalists, and a crew of 12. This team travels around the country to perform at various competitions and exhibitions.
    So far, Attaché has won first place at the South Central Classic in Homewood, Ala., Petal Show Choir Invitational in Petal, and the 2014 Xtravaganza in Los Alamitos, Calif. this year.  
    “Amazing performances by the Clinton students again and again,” said Director Dave Fehr. “I’m so proud of the students, parents, Clinton schools and the community of Clinton for their support.”
    Fehr noted a few statistics from Attaché’s history:
    -       Attaché has never lost to a Mississippi school in its 34-year history.

    -       Attaché has not lost to a group from the south in the 22 years under the direction of Dave and Mary Fehr, and has earned Grand Champion (first place) in 65 out of 74 competitions entered against all top groups from across the nation.

    -       Attaché 2014 is once again ranked at the top of the national show rating system after defeating Burbank High School and John Burroughs High School at the Los Alamitos, Calif. Xtravaganza competition on March 22.

    This weekend, Attaché is in Nashville to host the Show Choir Nationals at the Grand Ole Opry, an event it’s hosted for 12 consecutive years.
    The choir’s next local performance is its annual Spring Revue, planned for 7:30 p.m. nightly on April 30-May 3 in the Clinton High School Auditorium. The event is open to the public and tickets are on sale now. Groups are welcome.
    Directors David and Mary Fehr lead Attaché along with pit direct Robert Allen, crew director Deborah Morgan, and technical director Robert Gatewood. Choreographers for the show choir include April James, Kellis Oldenburg, Dexter Bishop, Dwight Jordan, and Stephen Todd.
    Junior show choir
    The Ambassadors show choir is Clinton’s junior program. This group is comprised of 46 singers/dancers and 10 crew members.
    It has earned Grand Champion in every competition it’s ever entered, including the 2013 Show Choir Nationals.
    “The process these students go through to create a high quality performance promotes self-confidence and encourages teamwork,” said Ambassadors Director Erin Linton.
    Linton said show choir is more than just performing. Students have the opportunity to develop their musical skills and creativity outside of the classroom setting.
    “I believe students involved in show choir develop good character and a good work ethic that will help them succeed later in life,” she said.
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  • Cars for Childhood Cancer

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/3/2014
    Anchor Club members at Clinton High School are planning a fun-filled day to benefit the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic.
    The third annual Cars for Childhood Cancer car show fundraiser will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26 at Tractor Supply Co. on Springridge Road in Clinton. Trophies will be awarded in two categories — cars and trucks. There will be an overall winner and a Tractor Supply Favorite.
    Pre-registration is $15 through April 18, and $20 on-site from 8-9 a.m. the day of the event.
    “We will have raffle prizes, food, a DJ, a ventriloquist, and hopefully Percy King and his collection of animals,” said club sponsor and CHS teacher Megan Berry.
    Last year's event raised more than $1,000, and students hope to exceed that amount this year, Berry said.  
    “CHS raised a grand total of $7,000 for Batson last year, and I have set a goal for the school of $10,000 for this year,” she said.
    For more information or to pre-register, contact Berry at or call Tractor Supply Co. at 601-924-7342.
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