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Principal's Corner - John Ellison

about 1 year ago


662.456.3320 (HHS Phone)

662.456.3527 (HHS Fax)

December 14 ACT
The ACT will be given to all JUNIORS Saturday, Dec. 14, at Houston High School at no cost to the students. All juniors have been registered and are encouraged to take advantage of this free opportunity. Students should arrive by 7:30 a.m. that morning and bring a photo ID. Pencils and calculators will be provided. Testing will be over by noon.
This opportunity is for juniors only, per the ACT organization. Any non-junior who signed up for the December ACT in Houston has been reassigned by the ACT organization to a different testing location, more than likely Vardaman High School, as it is the closest testing site to Houston. Students should print their tickets ahead of time to see their reassigned location. 

Exchange Club HHS Students of the Month

about 1 month ago

Emma Brassfield

October 2019

Congratulations to Emma Brassfield! She is a senior at Houston High School and was voted at HHS as the Exchange Club Student of the Month for October. Emma is a member of Student Council and the French Honor Society. She is also FCA President, Secretary of the Beta Club and Anchor Club Public Relations Officer. She is a Superintendent's Honor Roll student and plays the bass drum for the Topper Pride Band. Emma enjoys playing the ukulele, listening to music and reading. Upon high school graduation, she plans to attend Mississippi College as a pre-med student and then attend medical school to become a pediatrician. Emma is the daughter of Jason and Amanda Brassfield.

Jasmine Rogers

September 2019

Congratulations to Jasmine Rogers! She is a senior at Houston High School and was voted at HHS as the Exchange Club Student of the Month for September. Jasmine is a member of the Anchor Club, Beta Club and Student Council. She also plays outfield for the HHS slow pitch and fast pitch softball teams. Her honors include Woodmen of American History, Latin, Academic Achievement and Citizenship awards. Jasmine enjoys traveling, reading and playing softball. She plans to attend the University of Mississippi to major in dental hygiene upon graduation. Jasmine is the daughter of Thomas Cousin and Yochia Rogers.  

Abby Kate Boyer

August 2019

Congratulations to Abby Kate Boyer! She is a senior at Houston High School and was voted at HHS as the Exchange Club Student of the Month for August. Abby Kate is a member of the Archery Team, Anchor Club and FCA Leadership Team at HHS, as well as the North East Mississippi Youth Foundation. She is president of the Beta Club and the Student Council, as well as the president of Mississippi State District Anchor. Abby Kate plays the baritone in the Topper Pride Band and was recently crowned HHS 2019 Homecoming Queen. Upon graduation, she plans to attend The University of Mississippi and major in Secondary Education/English. Abby Kate is the daughter of Buz and Kathryn Boyer.

HHS News

21 days ago

HHS Junior Jaiden Linley Attends Student Advisory Council Meeting at MS state capitol

Approximately 86 high school students from across the state met together for the student advisory council fall meeting at the State Capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. 

The purpose of the council is to be the voice of Mississippi high school students, discussing what is working in Mississippi schools, what issues need to be addressed, and how the state could possibly help solve those issues. Linley shared one common issue students across the state brought up concerned preparation for post-secondary education versus end of year assessments required for graduation. Advisory council students prefer more ACT/SAT prep courses, rather than so much attention to state tests. 

Linley was honored to be part of the advisory council. "I would definitely recommend the student advisory council to other students," she said. "It is such a great experience. It is also a great opportunity to connect and share ideas with students from other schools around Mississippi about ways that the schools could potentially be improved for the future students in Mississippi."

The next student advisory council meeting will be held spring semester. 

HHS Nominates 24 students for Ambassador Leadership summit

Houston High School has nominated two dozen students as Ambassador Leaders. Ambassador Leaders are students with leadership potential and citizenship. They have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills at their choice summit among UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif., Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., Yale University in New Haven, Conn., or Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

Students from more than 100 countries attend these summits, setting up a platform for Ambassador Leaders to collaborate with students with different ideas and from different cultures, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities they will face in a global community. In turn, the new knowledge and tools they gain during this summit will strengthen their leadership potential.

Participation in this program is optional. Students who choose to attend are responsible for the cost. The students nominated at HHS are: Makenzie Bivens, Sarah Brassfield, Autumn Britt, Trinity Buggs, Michael Ann Chandler, Maddox Clouse, Precious Cooper, Saraya Crawford, Payten Dotson, Alexis Ellison, Oliver Franklin, Alyssa Haire, Katherine Hill, Annabelle Hood, Jaden Johns, Maddie King, Jaiden Linley, Kaitlyn Murphree, Ariana Neal, Malik Price, Hoyt Smith, Jessica Torres, Emniyah Vance and Khenyia Williams.

Linley Chosen for State superintendent Student advisory council

Jaiden Linley, a junior at Houston High School, was recently chosen for the State Superintendent Student Advisory Council.

Students from different backgrounds, school size and regions in Mississippi will be able to share their opinions and offer advice about educational opportunities and policy in Mississippi with Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

“I’m looking forward to hearing directly from students on issues of importance to them,” Wright said. “As our clients, we want to make sure public education provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. The council also allows students to interact with their peers from around the state and learn from one another.”

The council’s purpose is to provide a forum for Mississippi’s students to offer diverse perspectives to Wright. 

The selected students will act as liaisons between MDE and public school students from across the state. Council meetings will be held twice (fall and spring) during the school year.   

Linley is the daughter of Sedrick and Lashanda Linley. She is a member of the Beta Club, Anchor Club, HOSA, and FFA. Upon high school graduation, she plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in veterinary medicine. 

Houston School District's Tony Cook Named Mississippi's Superintendent of the Year

5 months ago

By: Lisa Karmacharya, Director of MASA

“A dynamic, driven and dedicated leader that promotes excellence in our students, teachers, school leaders and community” are the words one administrator used to describe Mississippi’s 2018-2019 Superintendent of the Year. The Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA) is pleased to announce Mr. Tony Cook, Superintendent of the Houston School District, has been selected as the 2018-2019 Superintendent of the Year for the state of Mississippi.  

In the spring of 2015, Mr. Cook was given the opportunity to return to his hometown of Houston as the superintendent and has since led the school district in achieving its highest rating in history.  An incredibly passionate and child-centered leader, Mr. Cook is not one for excuses, but rather, one for solutions.  By engaging his local community for support, the Houston School District has been able to overcome some of the challenges that rural and high poverty districts face.  Mr. Cook believes in working alongside his staff and provides them with the support they need to ensure the success of children as evidenced by the ongoing improvement of student outcomes.

Mr. Tony Cook pictured with State Superintendent Dr. Carey M. Wright.

An educator for more than twenty years, Mr. Cook understands the challenges and opportunities in the public school arena and is dedicated to providing a quality learning experience for all children.  He continues to engage in his own professional learning, demonstrating his belief in continuous improvement by modeling and leading by example.  Mr. Cook is a servant leader who understands and respects the value of experience and collective wisdom.  He has been honored to serve on many state and local committees including the state accountability task force and the state superintendent’s advisory committee.  In 2009, Mr. Cook was selected as Administrator of the Year for the Pontotoc City School District.  Mr. Cook’s thoughts about his move back home and the successes they have seen is summed up in this quote “I'm so proud of my hometown and my home district. Once a Topper, always a Topper.”

Mr. Cook is married to the former Ms. Pam Kyle of Pontotoc. 

MASA’s Superintendent of the Year Program provides our school district leaders an opportunity to share their successes in the areas of leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement with the winner competing during The American Association of School Administrators, The School Superintendent’s Association Annual National Conference on Education.  This year’s competition will be held in Los Angeles where all state affiliate winners will be honored.  On behalf of the entire MASA membership and Board of Directors, we are incredibly proud to have him representing the great state of Mississippi and we wish him and the Houston School District continued success! 

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Houston School District’s Grad Rate Soars More Than 20 Points in Two Years
Houston, MS: Official graduation rates for Mississippi school districts were released this week, and the Houston School District increased its graduation rate to 89.1%.

In 2015-2016, the graduation rate of HSD was 67.6%. The following year, the rate was 82.9%, just barely under the state average of 83%. The state graduation average for 2017-2018 is 84%.

“This most recent graduation rate is also a 30 point jump from 2010, during which the district’s graduation rate was 58.2%,” said Tony Cook, HSD superintendent.

Increasing the graduation rate has been a major goal of HSD since Cook became superintendent.

“Higher graduation rates means that more students have a better opportunity for success in life after high school, whether they go to college or straight into the workforce.” said Cook.

Cook is also quick to point out that improving the graduation rate is not just a high school issue, but rather a joint effort elementary through high school.

“We track year-to-year progression and put an emphasis on graduation beginning in pre-K and continuing through 12th grade,” said Cook. “We have also hired a graduation coach to make sure at-risk students at the middle and high school levels are on track for graduation.”

School attendance is also heavily monitored at each building and interventions are put into place for those with chronic absences. Academic interventions are also implemented to increase student growth.

The Houston School District is also providing special opportunities for students who are behind, as well as students who are advanced.

“Early graduation is offered to students two years behind grade level to ensure they complete school,” said Cook. “We also provide opportunities for our advanced students through the Duke Tip program, PSAT and increased numbers in our accelerated courses.”

The Houston School District is also promoting graduation through college walls, college field trips, graduation banners, guest speakers, college scavenger hunts, college bulletin boards, career expos, career days and college days.

Bullying Procedures for Processing a Complaint

about 1 month ago

By Shane Presley

Procedures for Processing a Complaint  

Any student, school employee or volunteer who feels he/she has been a victim of bullying or harassing behavior, or has witnessed or who has reliable information that a student, school employee or volunteer has been subject to bullying or harassing behavior shall report such conduct to a teacher, principal, counselor or other school official.  The report shall be made promptly but no later than five (5) calendar days after the alleged act or acts occurred.  The school official shall complete a “Bullying/Harassing Behavior” complaint form which shall include the name of the reporting person, the specific nature and date of the misconduct, the names of the victim of the misconduct, the names of any witnesses and any other information that would assist in the investigation of the complaint.  The report shall be given promptly to the principal or superintendent who shall institute an immediate investigation.  Complaints against the principal shall be made to the superintendent and complaints against the superintendent shall be made to the Board chairman.    

The complaint shall be investigated promptly.  Parents will be notified of the nature of any complaint involving their student.  The District official will arrange such meetings as may be necessary with all concerned parties within five (5) working days after initial receipt of the complaint by the District.  The parties will have an opportunity to submit evidence and a list of witnesses.  All findings related to the complaint will be reduced to writing.  The District official conducting the investigation shall notify the victim and parents as appropriate when the investigation is completed and a decision regarding disciplinary action, as warranted, is determined.   

 If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the District official, he/she may submit a written appeal to the superintendent.  Such appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the results of the initial decision.  The superintendent will arrange such meetings with the victim and other affected parties as deemed necessary to discuss the appeal.  The superintendent shall provide a written decision to the victim’s appeal within ten (10) working days.   If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the superintendent, a written appeal may be filed with the Board.  Such appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the decision of the superintendent.  The Board shall, within twenty (20) working days, allow the victim and parents as appropriate to appear before the Board to present reasons for dissatisfaction with the decision of the superintendent.  The Board shall provide a written decision within ten (10) working days following the victim’s appearance before the Board.