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MPS hopes to attract strong teachers

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Oct. 21, 2003
In an attempt to improve student achievement and standardized test scores, Meridian Public School officials are making plans to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers.
Geral Loden, Meridian public schools human resources director, and Robert Markham, deputy superintendent, presented a rough draft plan Monday to make Meridian attractive to prospective teachers.
The plan also is part of an effort to recruit more minority teachers and administrators.
Loden and Markham presented the plan to the school board during its regular meeting Monday. About 50 district employees, teachers and parents attended the meeting at Crestwood Elementary School.
The plan calls for more recruiting at Mississippi's black colleges and universities, posting vacancies on the school district Web page and establishing a recruitment committee of Meridian teachers and staff.
It also calls for encouraging Meridian's middle and junior high schools to organize and develop strong future educator associations.
The Meridian School Board took the following actions at its Monday meeting:
Amended the 2003-2004 budget to include $102,676 for Meridian High School Principal R.D. Harris' salary; $92,300 for repairs to the gym floor at Meridian High School; $114,517 in workers' compensation; and $35,652.89 in miscellaneous costs such as text books and general educational development materials.
Accepted a $100,000 Mississippi Alliance
Prevention grant from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. The money will be used for drug prevention programs in the district.
Accepted a $10,000 Learn and Serve grant from the Mississippi Department of Education. The money will be used for programs at Marion Park Complex alternative school that are designed to build character in students.
Approved the Reading First agreement for $200,000 for two years for West End Elementary, Parkview Elementary and Witherspoon Elementary. The money is used for
literacy coaches and tutors.