Education

Long Beach, Pass Christian school districts celebrate high rankings

Long Beach School District Superintendent Jay Smith welcomed Mississippi Department of Education Superintendent Carey Wright to Long Beach Middle School on Tuesday. Smith noted the district ranked second in the state, just a point away from a first place ranking.
Long Beach School District Superintendent Jay Smith welcomed Mississippi Department of Education Superintendent Carey Wright to Long Beach Middle School on Tuesday. Smith noted the district ranked second in the state, just a point away from a first place ranking. jvicory@sunherald.com

Mississippi Department of Education Superintendent Carey Wright continued her tour of the Coast Tuesday by visiting the Long Beach and Pass Christian school districts.

Both districts earned A grades in this year’s state accountability rating for the 2015-16 school year. Only 14 districts out of 144 across the state had A grades. Four Coast districts earned A’s.

Wright spoke to faculty and staff at Long Beach Middle School to begin the day, and then stopped by Pass Christian High School.

Monday, Wright addressed the Jackson County and Ocean Springs school districts.

Long Beach

MDE’s accountability score for the Long Beach School District was just one point away from the Oxford School District as the highest-ranking school district in the state.

The district ranked first on the Coast, and Long Beach High School ranked fourth highest in the state.

Wright, a former teacher and principal, told Long Beach students to challenge themselves and trust their teachers.

“Having been a teacher, I can tell you this. You can never, ever thank a teacher enough,” she said.

Jay Smith replaced Carrolyn Hamilton as Long Beach School District Superintendent in July. Hamilton served the district for 13 years.

Pass Christian

The Pass Christian School District has earned an A grade for the last five years.

Carla J. Evers replaced Beth Johns as Pass Christian School District superintendent in July. Johns was superintendent for four years. Evers congratulated Johns for her important role in the district’s ranking.

“We have an amazing village here,” Evers said. “The challenge is to continue the tradition.”

Wright said the performance of several Coast districts has raised eyebrows nationally.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things from my peers about what we’re doing in Mississippi. I believe that students here are just as bright and competitive, if not more so, than students in any other state,” she said.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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