Welcoming new teachers to WPCSD

Staff Writer

School started early for teachers new to the West Point Consolidated School District. Assistant WPCSD Superintendent Jermaine Taylor, Administrative Assistant Latosha Williams and Superintendent Burnell McDonald welcomed the incoming teachers.

Upbeat music videos played while everyone sat at tables in the West Point High School north campus.

McDonald has been in education for 31 years. He said he has loved every minute of it.

"You are in the best place you can be," McDonald said. "I want to ask you for your very best for these students. We don't want to let things interfere and get in the way. These students deserve your very best."

McDonald welcomed the new teachers to a winning team. He said the purpose for everyone here is to provide the best education possible for the students.

"I am bragging about the people who work here, not myself," McDonald said. "We have the best staff around at all of our schools in this district. I'm happy to welcome you all."

There are 24 new teachers joining the district for the 2018 - 19 school year.

Jonathan Reeves will be the drama teacher for grades 8 - 12. He lives in Starkville and is new to the WPCSD.

"I'll primarily work with the eighth grade students," Reeves said. "But I'll be working with the upper classes, for Drama I and Theater II. Eighth grade will be Introduction for Middle School Theater."

Reeves said he loves teaching drama. He enjoys taking his classes to competition.

"I like to think of it as a compilation of all the arts," Reeves said. "I used to be an introvert until I found theater. It's wonderful for shy students. A lot of them find their voice through the arts."

Reeves said his class is not all about acting. Students can design costumes, create sets and backdrops or be the director of a production.

"My goal is to have them start playwriting," Reeves said. "They need this. Creativity opens so many doors. Students who write well can take that into almost any career they choose."

Javonna Coggins has come back home to the WPCSD. She will be teaching kindergarten at East Side Elementary.

"I'm originally from here," Coggins said. "I graduated from West Point High School in 2005, and got my degree from the Mississippi University for Women. I'm happy to come back home to this district."

Coggins said this is the beginning of her seventh year in education.

"I want all of my students to be successful," Coggins said. "That is my goal. I want to give them my very best every day."

Shirley Boudreaux will be teaching eighth grade art at the WPHS north campus.

"We're going to learn art fundamentals," Boudreaux said. " And art history. We'll work on a big project where the students will take a playing card and create an original card inspired by the card and whatever they like."

Boudreaux is originally from Ogden, Utah, and married a man from Louisiana who has familial ties to Mississippi. She was an undergraduate student from MUW and went to the University of Missouri, for graduate school.

"I think this is a great looking bunch," Reita Humphries, director of Federal Programs for the WPCSD, said. "This will be a new adventure for them. We want them to give their all for our students."