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Stephens named Southeast High School principal

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Sept 21, 2001
The Lauderdale County School Board approved Jacqueline Stephens as the new principal of Southeast High School Thursday.
Stephens has served as interim principal since the resignation this summer of Kenneth Abbott. She has been Southeast's assistant principal since 1992.
Stephens said her familiarity with the school is an asset and that she intends to run the school with hard work, dedication and success.
Stephens, of Meridian, has been employed by the school district since 1972. She earned a bachelor's degree from Jackson State University, and a master's degree from Mississippi State University.
In other business, the school board voted to borrow money to purchase 19 new buses at a cost of $980,000.
The state allows school districts to borrow an amount equal to what three mills of ad valorem taxes would generate to use for capital projects and the purchase of land or equipment. The money will be paid back by the school district over a 10-year period.
Superintendent David Little said the move is an "extension" of the three-mill loan that partially paid for the construction of Northeast Middle School and West Lauderdale Elementary.
The new buses will replace 1988 and 1989 model buses.
The school district planned to buy eight new buses last year, but held off due to state budget cuts. The buses being replaced are the last ones that run on propane, which is more expensive than diesel fuel.
Two of the new buses will carry special education students, and will be equipped with wheel chair lifts.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at