Bay-Waveland honors Herbert as Teacher of Year

The Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District's Teacher of the Year is Tarah Herbert, who also was named Bay High's Teacher of the Year.

A Bay High teacher for five years, Herbert received her degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011. Since then, she has achieved certification in computer graphics programs to stay current with quickly evolving technologies and to pass that knowledge on to her students. She teaches digital media technology and graphic design courses, including overseeing the Tiger News Team.

Herbert has developed the team to be an almost completely student-run club, where students write, film, produce and present news stories daily for the school. Herbert sponsors various school clubs at Bay High and stays active and involved in campus life.

Peers and administrators also note her professionalism and enthusiasm for teaching. Herbert will represent the district at the statewide Teacher of the Year recognitions later this spring.

Other Teachers of the Year named within the district for outstanding work include Nancy Artiques, Crossroads Learning Center; Jacqueline Lape, Waveland Elementary; Magan Russell, North Bay Elementary; and Gina Pepperman, Bay-Waveland Middle School.

Bruni a Wendy's Heisman state finalist

Jeff Bruni Jr. of Gulfport High School has been recognized as a state finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman for Mississippi after being named the male school winner for GHS.

Each year 10 girls and 10 boys from each state across the country are chosen to be honored based on their academic achievements, athletic accomplishments, community-leadership, and involvement in extracurricular activities.

Bruni is a five-year member of the Admiral Varsity soccer team. He has been named to the All-Star South State Soccer Team, the All-State Mississippi Boys Soccer Team (Honorable Mention in 2014-15), and the All District Mississippi Boys Soccer Team. He is the leading scorer for his team and serves as captain.

He was also selected as one of the top soccer players in the southeast through United States Youth Soccer (USYS) and was named the past two years to the USYS Region 3 Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region 3 Team for the 98 Boys and was chosen as ODP Player of the Year for the State of Mississippi in 2015. He has been a member of a four-time state champion select soccer team (FC United 98 Boys Blue).

In track Bruni ran the 100m dash and the 4x100m relay.

He maintains a 3.94 GPA while being enrolled in Advance Placement courses and has been on the honor roll his entire academic career. He has served in numerous leadership and service organizations, including Student Council, the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, as well as the Key Club, Spanish Club and Beta Club.

He represented GHS at the APEX Leadership Summit and scored a 34 on his ACT.

He is the son of Jeff and Angela Bruni of Gulfport.

Wagner, Burkart win Voice of Democracy contest

St. Patrick Catholic High School seniors Hannah Wagner won the first place district award in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy essay competition, and John David Burkart won the third place award.

Wagner and Burkhart will advance in the competitions, which include nearly 40,000 students across the country. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship.

The program was established in 1947 to help student express their opinions of today's democratic ideals and fund academic higher education. The competition is for students in grades nine through 12. This year's theme was, "My Vision For America."

Garrett named to Ole Miss Trial Advocacy Board

April Garrett has been selected to be a member of the Trial Advocacy Board at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

She is the daughter of the Rev. Donald and Marsha Garrett and is a graduate of Mississippi State University.

Fender selected for DAR Good Citizenship Award

The Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award was given to Jessika Fender, a senior at Biloxi High School.

Fender was selected based on honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism. She received an award certificate and bronze medal.

Rosina LePre, regent, and Carol Walters, vice regent, Biloxi Chapter, DAR, presented the award in a ceremony at Biloxi High School. Her mother, Irene Fender, also attended.

Thames is associate dean at Princeton University

The Rev. Theresa S. Thames has joined Princeton University as the associate dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel.

Rev. Thames is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in human communications studies. She continued her education at Duke University in Durham, N.C., where she earned a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in gender studies. She is a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Wesley Theological Seminary in the area of leadership excellence.

Her work has included Christian education, youth ministry, lay leadership and organizational development. Before being appointed as the senior pastor of Cheverly United Methodist Church in Cheverly, Md., she served as an associate pastor at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., for eight years.

Growing up in South Mississippi, she attended Biloxi Public School District.

Sison, Yott represent MGCCC at HEADWAE

Instructor MaryAnn Sison and student Jaycie Yott were selected to represent Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College at the annual Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) program in Jackson.

The day's activities included an awards luncheon and visit to the state Capitol.

Sison, an instructor at the Jackson County campus since 2003, teaches U.S. and world history and leadership. She is the Phi Theta Kappa sponsor at the campus and also teaches honors classes.

A sophomore at the Perkinston campus, Yott is planning to major in electrical engineering after she graduates from MGCCC. She is the Phi Theta Kappa president at the campus and is a member of the Honors College. She is vice president of the Campus Activity Board and vice president of the Dog Pound, a support group for the athletic department. She is a member of the Reflections Team, the Student Government Association, the Multicultural Club and a leader at the Barn. She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2013.

Annually, the state Legislature, along with the Mississippi Association of Colleges, recognizes an outstanding faculty member and student from each of the state's community colleges and universities during the HEADWAE program.

Carey students join Omicron Delta Kappa

William Carey University students from South Mississippi were among those inducted into the Alpha Beta Circle of the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society at the Hattiesburg campus.

Inductees include Arthur Bienvenu Jr. of Carriere; Jessica Boyette of Biloxi; Brittney Brown of Poplarville; Amanda Campbell of Picayune; Ashlee Champagne of Ocean Springs; and Lydia Ulrich of Moss Point.

Teacher Leader Institute will be in June at Carey

For the second year, the William Carey University School of Education has been awarded a $90,000 grant for teacher quality improvement under Title II of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The grant will fund a 20-day Teacher Leader Institute at the Tradition campus in Biloxi during June.

Twenty teachers from partnering school districts in South Mississippi will attend the institute as students in the university's educational leadership program. Funds from the grant will be used to pay a stipend to participants as well as their tuition for the institute.

Details: Noal Cochran, assistant professor of education, at 228-702-1841 or

Bouler graduates from youth leadership program

Moss Point High School senior Tristian Bouler graduated of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Gulf Coast Youth Leadership (GCYL) program.

This one-year program is designed to identify and develop youth with leadership skills. GCYL began in 1998 in an effort to expose high school students to a variety of leadership and career challenges, with students from George, Stone, Jackson and Harrison counties invited to participate.

GCYL students are required to complete research reports, act as mentors and participate in community service. They are also expected to participate in monthly field trips to learn more about the economics of South Mississippi. The students earn three hours of college credit upon meeting all program requirements.

Education group grants $3,000 scholarship

P.E.O. Chapter D Biloxi presented a $3,000 Continuing Education grant to Cassie Hannah of Moss Point. She is attending the University of South Alabama and is pursuing degrees in criminal justice and sociology.

Honors and achievements

-- Michael Smith of Gulfport is a fall 2015 graduate of the University of Arkansas.

-- Joanna Lea Odenthal of Gulfport was named to the dean's list at the College of William & Mary for the fall 2015 semester. For the honor, full-time degree seeking undergraduate students must take at least 12 credit hours and earn a 3.6 Quality Point Average during the semester.

-- Marla Ann Hogan of Gulfport was named to the fall 2015 dean's honor roll at Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kan. Hogan is a senior majoring in general studies. For the honor, undergraduate students must have completed 12 or more credit hours and have a minimum GPA of 3.60 for the semester.

-- Surgical technology program students Alyssa Hoda of Kiln, Holly Peterson of Waveland, Sandi Sheffield of Picayune and Shannon Williams of Poplarville received their diplomas and pins at a ceremony at Pearl River Community College's Forrest County Center

-- Recipients of the Hancock County Alumni Chapter Scholarships at Pearl River Community College are Harleigh Bennett of Pearlington, Lena Marie Corwell of Diamondhead, Adriana Hoda and Cassidy Daniels, both of Kiln, Danielle Ladner of Waveland and Donte Benoit, Dylan Moore and Anthony Pitalo, all of Bay St. Louis.