MPHS Powerlifting Captain Awarded Full Ride to Tougaloo

1140026 MPHS Powerlifting Captain Awarded Full Ride to Tougaloo

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Diavian Cooper is graduating from Moss Point High School this week still riding high on a major win for the girls Powerlifting Team. As team captain, Cooper helped lead her team in April to its third state championship in a row.

“It’s a great honor to be the only team in the school right now that has a state championship,” Cooper said. But Cooper doesn’t just lift big; she studies hard. 

She’s attending Tougaloo College in the fall on a full-ride academic scholarship with plans to major in biology and minor in pre-med. Her goal is to open her own practice as a neurologist.

This week, she will walk across the Tiger Stadium field at graduation as either valedictorian or salutatorian of her class. She credits her academic success in part to her teachers for challenging her and keeping expectations high in the classroom.

“They pushed me really hard,” Cooper said. “The classes are not easy at all.”

The 2018 class as a whole received $7 million in scholarship offers, beating last year’s class by more than $1 million. Cooper said she is responsible for $1.5 million of those dollars, which includes full-ride scholarship offers from 11 schools.

Cooper said the class of 2018 couldn’t have achieved everything it has, academically and athletically, without the support of all the staff at the Moss Point High.

“They are very influential, and it’s clear to see they love all the students in the school,” Cooper said. “We’re going to miss them as a class.”

 

 

 

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Summer Library Programs @ Your Library!

SLP-2018-Rocks Summer Library Programs @ Your Library!

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Coast Libraries are ready to rock this summer with programs for all ages.  The Jackson-George Regional Library System summer reading programs begins June 4, at all locations. Registration for children stats May 29 at all branches.  The reading program for children is designed to help kids discover the pleasure of reading throughout the summer.

“Libraries Rock!” is the theme for all programming this year and will encourage children to enjoy music themed events, storytellers, local artists, and the fun of reading and winning prizes.

A full schedule of events and programs include; Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks, Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris, Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music, Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts, Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show, and Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic.

Weekly programs for each of three age groups will include; pre-school storytime, grade-school programs, and even teen programs.

“We always have new families moving to our area, so we encourage them to get a library card read books, and participate in exciting learning activities,” said JGRLS Youth Services Coordinator Bethany Carlisle. “Everyone can get into music and have fun! We hope kids and their parents will come and enjoy great programs for all ages,” she said.

A library program record is filled out for each child who registers. Each time the child visits the library, the activities and library materials he or she has checked out will be recorded on their own activities card. Children can also earn prizes for filling out their card.

Parents of younger children are urged to enroll their preschool children in the Read-To-Me programs and to attend the regular story time activities at the libraries. A wide selection of new picture books are available that parents can select to read to their children.

For more information and schedules, visit the library website: Children: www.jgrls.org/children/index.html, Teens: www.jgrls.org/events/teens.html, and Adults: www.jgrls.org/events/events.html  Visit a library near you.

Branch program schedule:

East Central Public Library

Mondays at 2 pm • 228-588-6263

June 4 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 11 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 18 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 25 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 2 JGRLS presents Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show

July 9 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

Gautier Public Library

Wednesdays at 2 pm • 228-497-4531

June 6 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 13 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 20 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 27 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 4 Holiday – Library Closed

July 11 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

Lucedale/George County Public Library

Mondays at 10 am • 601-947-2123

June 4 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 11 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 18 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 25 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 2 JGRLS presents Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show

July 9 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

Ina Thompson Moss Point Library

Thursdays at 10 am • 228-475-7462

June 7 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 14 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 21 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 28 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 5 JGRLS presents Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show

July 12 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

Ocean Springs Municipal Library

Tuesdays at 10 am • 228-875-1193

June 5 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 12 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 19 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 26 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 3 JGRLS presents Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show

July 10 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

Pascagoula Public Library

Thursdays at 2 pm • 228-769-3060

June 7 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 14 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 21 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 28 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 5 JGRLS presents Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show

July 12 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

St. Martin Public Library

Wednesdays at 10 am • 228-392-3250

June 6 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 13 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 20 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 27 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 4 Holiday – Library Closed

July 11 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

Vancleave Public Library

Tuesdays at 2 pm • 228-826-5857

June 5 Gram Rae from Fiddly-Dee Rocks at the Library

June 12 Rockin’ Dance with Antoinette Morris

June 19 Live With Kelly & Robert: Montage of Music

June 26 Storytelling Rocks: Da Story Weaver, Terrance Roberts

July 3 JGRLS presents Rolllin’ on the River Puppet Show

July 10 Dr. GEE’s Magic and Balloons: Rock Your Library with Magic!

The Jackson-George Regional Library System is comprised of nine branch libraries serving the two counties and surrounding areas. All locations provide free access to a large collection of books, ebooks, digital magazines, DVDs, audio books on CD and tape, and music CDs, Internet and free WiFi; research databases, newspapers, and more. Libraries continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality programming, exhibits, and free events for children, teens and adults of all ages.

 

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PHS Salutatorian on his way to elite military academy

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PASCAGOULA – Pascagoula High School senior Jack Colmer is the kind of student with an impressive high school resume. Salutatorian of the class of 2018. President of the National Honor Society. Offensive co-captain of the football team.
Now, just weeks away from graduation, Colmer has earned a rare accomplishment that might just beat everything else on the list. Colmer is one of only three students in Mississippi to earn an appointment this fall to one of the five elite U.S. service academies that act as a training ground for future commissioned officers in the military.

Colmer‘s appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy in New York comes with free tuition and room and board, making the package worth an estimated $262,000 to $400,000, Colmer said.

“This just seemed like an awesome opportunity I had to take,” Colmer said.
In four years at the academy, students earn a bachelor’s degree in the classroom and spend a “Sea Year” aboard working commercial vessels sailing to ports around the world. Students in their Sea Year will visit an average of 18 countries in that time. Graduates have a post-graduation service obligation with the option to serve in any branch of the armed forces or as a civilian in the maritime industry.

Appointment to a Service Academy starts with a nomination from a U.S. senator or representative. Colmer secured his required nomination from Rep. Steven Palazzo.

Closer to home, Colmer received continual encouragement from his family and from the Pascagoula-Gautier School District as he worked toward his goals.

They‘re very supportive, and it‘s what they‘ve wanted me to do ever since I started looking into it,” Colmer said of his parents, James and Jennifer Colmer.They‘ve helped me a lot. I wouldn’t be able to do it if it weren’t for my mom and dad always pushing me to fill out everything and always trying to get information for me.

Pascagoula-Gautier schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich praised Colmer as an intelligent, hardworking student who has spent his years in school preparing for a bright future.

“All of the components you want in the future leaders of our country are all embodied in Jack Colmer,” Rodolfich said.
Earning a spot at a school with an acceptance rate of only 15% was never a sure thing, but Colmer says his Christian faith has given him the courage to pursue his dreams, no matter the outcome.

“My mindset has always been, ‘Wherever I end up, that’s where God wants me to be.’ Colmer said. “I really believe that this is the path I‘m supposed to take and this is where God is sending me.

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First Hispanic Valedictorian from Gautier High School gets full ride to MIT

Francisco-Arellano-1 First Hispanic Valedictorian from Gautier High School gets full ride to MIT

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Francisco Arellano knew he wanted to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since reading a book in the seventh grade where the lead character was trying to get into the school. The character was a good person and very intelligent, and Arellano made it his mission to pursue this dream back then.

When the time came to look at colleges, he realized MIT was the greatest technical school in the country, and he set his mind even further on doing what needed to be done to get accepted. He decided that if he got accepted, he would attend the school.

“If I can get there, there isn’t much I can’t do,” said the high school senior, who made a 35 on the ACT and is Gautier High School’s first Hispanic valedictorian.

 

He accomplished what he set out to do and got accepted to the Massachusetts school while also receiving a full need-based scholarship to attend. Now, the Gautier native, who hasn’t traveled out of the South before will head to Cambridge in the fall to study engineering. He thinks this will be his biggest challenge – the shift in culture.

He’s had a few moments of doubt about attending school so far away but said that he has relied on conversations with school staff to help him figure everything out. He said that these conversations helped him remember “all the reasons I wanted to go in the first place.”

Arellano, who was also involved in the band program at GHS, plans to initially major in mechanical engineering, but the first two years of core classes are the same for all, so he can decide down the road if he wants to change. He said that he is also interested in nuclear engineering and aerospace engineering.

Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, said that this opportunity is like hitting the lottery for someone Arellano’s age, and he’s confident that he will succeed there.

“He’s a young man that has the ability to see the opportunity through,” Rodolfich said. “We’re just super proud of him. He’s come a long way and made a great impact on that high school.”

GHS Guidance Counselor Paulette Edwards agreed: “MIT is going to give him the world where a Southern college is going to give him the South. It’s where the world’s geniuses come to study. He’s going to do great.”

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Bishop Kihneman Presents RCS with $500,000 for Debt Retirement

IMG_0325 Bishop Kihneman Presents RCS with $500,000 for Debt Retirement

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Since first opening their doors in 1882, Resurrection Catholic School’s (RCS) mission has been to provide the youth of Jackson County with a nurturing and motivational atmosphere. One in which each student receives the opportunity to reach his full potential as a well-educated, caring, responsible Christian; one equipped to meet and overcome adversity in a challenging society.

Throughout its more than one hundred years, community service has been one of the basic building blocks RCS has utilized in helping to maintain and reach their primary goal. Today, the community decided to give back.

During an assembly at RCS, Bishop Louis Kihneman took center stage to make an announcement and present the school with a gift from members of the community. With all stakeholders, students, faculty and foundation members in attendance, the Bishop presented the school with a $500,000 check to assist in paying off some of the debt the school has accumulated since rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The money was donated by anonymous contributors in Jackson County.

“The bishop categorized debt as an anchor… we’re trying to help the school grow in all aspects, but then we’ve got this debt holding on to us, like an anchor pulling us down,” said RCS principal Noah Hamilton. Hamilton says once the debt is retired, it will free up cash flow to go back into the general fund and be used directly for educational purposes. “I say it’s time to cut this anchor. Let’s get it out of the way so we can get back to what are mission really is – preparing our students academically, spiritually and socially to take the next step of their lives.”

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Free Children’s Summer Feeding Program to begin June 7

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District has announced the United States Department of Agriculture’s free summer feeding locations for children and teenagers, 18 years old and younger.

Breakfast and lunch will be available June 7-June 28, Monday through Thursday, at Pascagoula High School and in Gautier, breakfast and lunch will be served at Gautier Elementary on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, June 7- July 26.

Breakfast will be available from 7:30-8:30 a.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to noon at both schools. Pascagoula High is located at 1716 Tucker Ave., Pascagoula, and Gautier Elementary is located at 505 Magnolia Tree Drive.

For more information, call 938-6525.

USDA is an equal-opportunity employer and provider.

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Keynote Speaker Announced for Explosion of Excellence

KCR-Headshot Keynote Speaker Announced for Explosion of Excellence

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This year’s 28th Annual Explosion of Excellence will be held in May at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus.  This year’s Keynote Speaker is Dr. Kimberly Cox Rasmussen.  This scholarship program honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science).

Dr. Rasmussen is the Grants Bureau Director at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and has previously worked at The University of Southern Mississippi, The Bacot McCarty Foundation and the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Investigative Services Division.  Dr. Rasmussen holds a Bachelors in International Studies and a Masters in Criminal Justice, both from The University of Southern Mississippi.  She has also attended the Goethe Institut and Viennese Center for Middle Eastern Studies, both for German language study.  She holds a doctorate in International Law/Criminal Justice from the University of Vienna (Vienna, Austria), where she focused her dissertation on substance abuse treatment among the incarcerated population.

 

 

Dr. Rasmussen is active in her community where she serves on numerous boards and participates in many volunteer organizations.  She serves as President of the Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport, Chair of the Gulf Coast Centurions Association and is a member of the Salute to the Military Dinner Planning Committee.  She is a graduate of Leadership Jackson County and previously served as a Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.  In addition to her professional and civic responsibilities, Dr. Rasmussen enjoys singing the National Anthem at various community events.  Dr. Rasmussen is a 2000 graduate of Gautier High School and a former Explosion of Excellence scholarship recipient.  She currently resides in Gautier with her husband, Ric, and their two daughters, Julep and Iris.

The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County.  It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher.

The public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship.  These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished.  The scholarships can be made in memory or in honor of someone, in the name of a company or individual or left anonymous.  The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS  39568-0480.”

To answer any questions, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at Chamber@jcchamber.com.

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FABLAB Summer Camp Dates Are Set!

fablab-camp-flyer FABLAB Summer Camp Dates Are Set!

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A FABLAB consists of a suite of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping machines, including a large computer numerical control (CNC) router (the ShopBot), a vinyl cutter, a laser engraver, an electronics work bench, a 3D printer, and the accompanying computers and software for design, programming, and machine communications. This equipment allows students to use computer-aided design to make almost anything they can imagine.

The FABLAB Jackson County in Vancleave will be putting on events throughout the summer for kids of all ages. Please check out the flyer to see what they’ve got coming up.

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Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

EOE-2017-Winners Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

This year’s 28th Annual Explosion of Excellence will be held in May at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus. This program honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science). The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County. It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

The public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship—all of which are 100 percent tax deductible. These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished. The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS 39568-0480.”

EOE-2017-Winners Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

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The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher. The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Kimberly Cox Rasmussen.

For more information, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at Chamber@jcchamber.com.

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Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron Present $25,000 Check to Excel by 5 at “Read to Me” Event

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Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron presented a $25,000 check to Excel by 5 this morning at their “Read to Me” event. The event was a partnership between the three organizations, and the generous donation will support our Gulf Coast Excel by 5 communities and early childhood literacy programs. 

The event featured PGA TOUR Champions professional Rod Spittle and his wife, Ann Spittle, who read the book Love Is All Around Mississippi to a group of twenty preschool children. Each child was given a Curious George story book autographed by Spittle.

Spittle will compete in this week’s Rapiscan Systems Classic, a tournament focused on early childhood education. They promote tips for reading to children with their free admission ticket, which doubles as a child’s bookmark. One side features helpful tips to engage young readers, like pointing out letters and words. The other side provides information about the tournament’s Chevron Family Day and Junior Clinic this Saturday, March 24th.

Excel by 5 was founded to benefit pre-K children by providing families with much needed resources. The innovative program emphasizes the important roles played by parents and early childhood educators during a child’s most formative years — from birth to age 5. They use research-based practices and enhance existing resources to optimize the care and education of young children. As a result, children are better prepared to enter school happy and healthy, with the skills they need to succeed.

 

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