WATER VALLEY – School District Superintendent Kim Chrestman will call it quits after leading the local schools for four years.
Chrestman announced his retirement Monday night at the February school board meeting, telling trustees that he would be leaving at the end of the current school year. “I did meet with my administrative team this morning and informed them that I would not be returning next year as superintendent and that I would be making my announcement tonight to the school board.”
The superintendent told trustees that he appreciated everything that they had done and how much they meant to him. “I do want to say how much I appreciate my administrative team for the unity and support they have given me,” he added. “They have been one hundred percent supportive of anything I have tried. Their willingness to do whatever I have asked them for has been phenomenal.”
Board President Taylor Trusty thanked Chrestman for what he has done for the district and the children of Water Valley. “A lot of things have gotten accomplished since you’ve been here.”
Trusty noted that among Chrestman’s accomplishments was getting the school’s facilities back into shape after they had fallen into disrepair. “And technology…it was virtually non-existent and we now have a great base of technology to build on for years to come.”
“I would like to thank you on behalf of the board and on behalf of the whole district,” said Trusty.
Chrestman, with almost four decades in education, has taught and coached in Vardaman, Pontotoc, Warren Central and here in Water Valley. He was social studies teacher and Blue Devil girls’ basketball coach from 1987 through 1990.
He was in educational administration with the Pontotoc County School District and was subsequently employed by the Okolona School District as Vocational Director and Technology Coordinator for seven years. He then assumed the duties of Alternative Program and Dropout Prevention Director for the Chickasaw County School District.
Chrestman earned his undergraduate degree from Delta State University in 1978 and his Masters degree from Delta State University in 1981.
During an interview with the Herald in May of 2011, Chrestman said, “While I have been around many superintendents’ offices, this will be my first time as superintendent. It will be a learning experience.”
He noted that what made Water Valley attractive is how much he enjoyed it when he was here the first time. “I’ve got good friends here,” he said. “This community has always been one that I really enjoyed.”
Among other actions at the Feb. 2 board meeting, trustees:
• Accepted a $1,086 donation from the Softball Booster’s Club.
• Heard Superintendent Chrestman praise the Davidson Elementary School Science Fair winners during his Superintendent’s Report. Winners included fifth grade students; Michael Egdorf, Blair Johnson, Layla Hill, Sydney Epes, Jon Surrette, Chloe Burrowes, Preslee Fisher, Tyler Boedecker, and sixth graders; Taryn Surrette, Marquiez Cook, Courtney McCammon, Shannon Sparks, Daniel Tarver, Kade Kuchta, Anna Clair Shaw and Tyler McGuire.
The winners will travel to the district science fair at The University of Missis-sippi on April 10, 2015, Chrestman added.
Continuing his report, Chrestman said that DES held its monthly Character Breakfast Jan. 30 with approximately 53 visitors. Angela Mauney, Ole Miss Assistant Volleyball Coach, was the guest speaker.
New Stage Theatre from Jackson is scheduled to perform “The Reluctant Dragon” at DES on Feb. 17, according to the superintendent. Following the performance, the acting company will engage the students in an open discussion forum to explore the literature, themes of the play and the experience of acting.
He noted that DES has received approval from MDE to implement the K-3 Literacy Grant. The grant provides $49,988.20 for an interventionist, materials /supplies, and consulting/ staff development for the remainder of 2014-2015 school year. DES will be looking to hire an interventionist for the remainder of the school year.
Progress reports, he said, are scheduled to go out February 5.
Moving to events at Water Valley High, Chrestman said that the school was selected by the Mississippi Assoc-iation of Arts in Education to receive an “Artist in Residence” for one week this spring. The artist will likely work with selected history and English classes.
He added that among events scheduled for WVHS students in recent days included the Poetry Out Loud Regional competition in which Teirra Turner represented the school.
Chrestman offered congratulations to L. J. Hawkins and Derrick Brady on their commitment to play football at NEMCC and to Alex Robles on his commitment to play football at Holmes Community College. Also, congratulations to Skyler Defer on his commitment to play baseball at MEMCC. Signing day is Wednesday, Feb. 4.
Finally, he encouraged parents of 8th grade students to attend a parent’s night this Thursday at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Eighth grade teachers will be on hand to discuss the reading initiative.