HPSD teachers recognized for student growth - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

HPSD teachers recognized for student growth

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Nearly 20 teachers were recognized Tuesday at the Hattiesburg Public School District's second annual "High Flyers" ceremony.

The teachers were recognized for helping students achieve growth on state tests, specifically in the top two performance categories as well as those who moved students across two proficiency band in one school year.

'I tell them when they come to my classroom, learning is not optional," said fourth grade math and science teacher Cynthia Williams. "You will get what you need to get, regardless of what's going on at home, regardless of what happened last year."

Williams, who is a teacher at Hawkins Elementary, had 82 percent of her students score proficient or advanced in math.

Other teachers recognized for their students scoring proficient/advanced were:

  • Karen Coney, Grace Christian Elementary
    •  4th grade language arts, 79%
  • Jameica Wilson, Grace Christian
    • 4th grade language arts, 79%
  • Angelique Mason, N.R. Burger Middle
    • 7th grade math, 82%
  • April Daniels, Woodley Elementary
    • 4th grade math, 89%
  • Durnita Williams, Hattiesburg High
    • 9th grade Algebra I, 65%
  • Tonya Lawrence, Thames Elementary
    • 5th grade science, 85% 

HPSD Superintendent James Bacchus said that while these teachers recognized are excelling in the classroom, it is also important for parents to remain a vital role in their students' lives.

"My message to the parents is to continue to send their children and to continue to hold high expectations for them because we have teachers here that care, and we have teachers that really are going to get the most out of their children," said Bacchus.


Teachers who received awards for growth were:

  • Dr. Deffene Beverly-Curtis, Grace Christian
    • 6th grade math, 82%
  • Chaquita Roberts, Rowan Elementary
    • 5th grade ELA, 82%
  • Kiwana Norman, Lillie Burney/Thames Elementary
    • Kindergarten, 73.7%
  • Denalda Pittman, Woodley Elementary
    • 3rd grade math, 85%
  • Valeria Smith, Hawkins Elementary
    • 3rd grade math, 80.5%
  • Kerry Sumner, Rowan
    • 4th grade math, 82%
  • Gloria Posey, Thames
    • 6th grade math, 77.4%

A group of teachers was also recognized as being the "most effective." Those teachers included:

  • Sandy Santora, N.R. Burger
    • 7th grade math
  • Dr. Deffene Beverly-Curtis, Grace Christian
    • 6th grade math
  • Jennifer Dixon, Rowan
    • 5th grade math
  • Yolanda Paylor, N.R. Burger
    • 7th grade ELA
  • Massandra Griffin, Hawkins
    • 6th grade ELA
  • Shondra Mason-Patton, N.R. Burger
    • 8th grade math
  • Cynthia Williams, Hawkins
    • 4th grade math
  • Karen Coney, Grace Christian
    • 4th grade ELA
  • Jameica Wilson, Grace Christian
    • 4th grade ELA


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