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School Applies For USDA Grant To Update Heating, Cooling

Outgoing school board member Steve Edwards shakes Bryan Gilley’s hand at Monday’s Water Valley School Board meeting. Gilley and Chris Terry have qualified to run for the seat. – Photo by Jack Gurner

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – A grant to help finance an energy efficiency renovation project at Water Valley High School was the topic of a brief public meeting Monday night held before the regular October school board meeting.
Superintendent Kim Chrestman said that the school district had applied for a rural development grant under the USDA sponsored Community Facilities Loan/ Grant Program, which serves rural communities and cities with populations under 20,000 throughout the state.
“If we receive this grant it will be for the windows and central heating and air conditioning for the classrooms at the high school.”
Chrestman explained that the public hearing was a required part of the application process.
He added that an eligible applicant could receive up to 75% of the project’s cost. Based on the demographics of the Water Valley School District, the program could provide the district a 35%/65% grant. “That is for every three dollars that the district contributes to this project, it can receive one dollar in grant funds, up to $210,000,” said Chrestman.
The project was discussed in February 2011 at which time William Mills of Mills & Mills Architects told the board that work on the HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) was going to cost around $406,000. “And, about the same for the windows.”
Among other actions at the Oct. 8 board meeting, trustees:
• Disposed of a computer plotter/printer from the old East Lab.
• Heard the Superintendent’s Report from Chrest-man that included what he described as a number of “good things” going on at the schools. The full text of his report is below this story.
Chrestman told trustees that after a long fund-raising campaign, the high school Student Council raised nearly $3000.00 to provide WVHS and the community with a school mascot uniform, which is housed and managed by the Student Council.   
Serving as mascots this year are Tonya Phillips, Marshall All-red and Jackson Ward.
“Look for the mascot at school sporting events and community events such as the Christmas Parade and Watermelon Carnival,” Chrestman said.
Among the upcoming activities involving the school will be the annual Beauty Review Thursday evening, October 11 at the City Auditorium, Fall Break is Oct. 22 for all staff and students and the senior night pep rally downtown at the Railroad Park pavilion on Thursday evening, Oct. 25, before the Mantachie game on Friday, Oct. 26.
• Recognized Bryan Gilley who is running for the District One Trustee position being vacated by Dr. Steve Edwards. “I just want to welcome him,” Edwards said, “as he gathers some insight about what we do as board members.”
Gilley will run against Chris Terry in the Nov. 6 election for a five-year term.
• Entered executive session at 6:41 p.m to discuss personnel matters and a student discipline issue. The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Water Valley School District
Superintendent’s Report
by Kim Chrestman

At Davidson Elementary School, on Thursday, September 27th, third grader Kolby Woods was expecting to greet Memphis television personality Jim Jaggers.  What he wasn’t expecting was to see his father, home from a yearlong tour of duty from Afghanistan.  The emotional reunion was arranged by his grandmother, 7th grade teacher Judy Brewer, as the 331 mile “Go Jim Go” fundraising tour for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital came to DES.  Along with the emotional reunion, DES also collected approximately 3 gallons of coins and paper currency to donate to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

WVHS clubs Mu Alpha Theta, F.C.A. and Beta Club donated $700.00 to the “Go Jim
Go” campaign for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and appeared live with Jim on WREG News Channel 3 at Noon.  It was an exciting time for the students and positive publicity regarding some of the great things our student organizations are doing in service to others.
After a long fund-raising campaign, the high school Student Council raised nearly $3000.00 to provide WVHS and the community with a school mascot uniform.  The mascot uniform is housed and managed with the Student Council.  Serving as mascots this year are Tonya Phillips, Marshall Allred and Jackson Ward.  Look for the mascot at school sporting events and community events such as the Christmas Parade and Water Melon Carnival. 
Thanks to the Water Valley Main Street Association for their continued support of our school.  Most recently activity “Downtown” was the Homecoming Pep Rally.  The community will have another opportunity to cheer on the Blue Devils at a Downtown Senior Night Pep Rally on Thursday evening, October 25 before the Mantachie game on Friday October 26,,,,,, all courtesy of the Water Valley Main Street Association. 
S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students, along with their teacher Ms. Vietta Booker, recently toured Borg Warner for an introduction and orientation into use of automation and technology in industry and in our community.  Thanks to Borg Warner for opening their doors to the eyes and minds of our young people who benefit greatly from the exposure to the applications of STEM in the industrial technology world and the use of advanced manufacturing. 
Seniors have ordered their senior invitations and received their senior “proofs” for selection.  It is hard to believe graduation day is just around the corner for these young men and women.  Many of them are busy with scholarship, admission and housing applications to a variety of colleges in our region and beyond. 
WVHS recently held a Blood Drive coordinated by Family and Consumer Science teacher, Ms. Kallie Bounds.  The high school campus hosts 2 drives each year and Ms. Bounds has been the coordinator since her arrival at WVHS. 
Climate and Culture at the high school is good and ever improving.  One area where improvement efforts are currently underway is tardiness.  This is probably the biggest challenge on a recurring basis as far as overall student management.  Changes in policy from last year are helping and we anticipate additional changes for altering the norm for students with tardiness issues.  A recent trip to New Albany High School yielded some ideas for addressing this particular issue.  We are excited about the comments from a variety of visitors regarding the good climate at our school and know that correcting the tardiness issue with some of our students will serve to enhance the climate even more. 
The annual Beauty Review will be held on Thursday evening, October 11 at the City Auditorium.  The event this year is sponsored by the Jr. Beta Club under the leadership of Ms. Keli Lindsey and Ms. Missy Avant.

WVHS has 42 high school FFA members and 45 junior high FFA members, the largest junior high group in recent years. The mid-south fair field trip was enjoyed by Water Valley FFA on September 28th.  Also, the WVHS FFA outsold South Panola FFA during the annual chrysanthemum sale by selling196 mums. Thanks to the WV community for their support. 

WVHS FFA will soon begin their annual ham and turkey sales for Thanksgiving and fruit sales for Christmas deliveries.  Upcoming in October is the annual WV agriculture students’ trip to the cotton gin that accompanies the unit on Fiber Production- with emphasis on cotton.
Fall Break is coming October 22, 2012, for all staff and students.  And of course, the WVHS Blue Devil Football Team is rolling and competing for the district championship.  Congratulations to them the coaching staff, our student body and our school community!  Go Big Blue!!!

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