Mississippi Association of Partners in Education Governor’s Awards Announcement

students in classroom

18th Annual Governor’s Awards on March 5 to Honor Top School-Community Partnerships during Mississippi Vision for Education Partnership Conference 

The Mississippi Association of Partners in Education will recognize Mississippi’s top school-community partnerships during the 18th annual Governor’s Awards luncheon on Thursday, March 5 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. The luncheon is part of activities planned for the Mississippi Vision for Education Partnership Conference featuring keynote speakers, exclusive workshops and partnership training.

MAPE will present the conference in partnership with Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools, Inc. (PREPS). Conference details and registration instructions are available at www.mapems.com, including reservations for the Governor’s Awards luncheon.

MAPE will award 24 school-community partnership programs that have produced outstanding results for students in K-12 public schools throughout Mississippi. Award-winning schools, districts and organizations are located in Clinton, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian, Vicksburg, Pascagoula/Gautier, Petal, Starkville, Tupelo, Harrison County, Pearl River County, and Rankin County.

“When we talk about improving school performance in Mississippi, partnerships should always be an important part of the conversation — and the Governor’s Awards recognition illustrates this point,” said Dr. Leslie Griffin, MAPE president. “The 2020 Governor’s Award winners exemplify the many creative ways that schools and communities across Mississippi are working together to improve student outcomes. Their success stories are truly making a difference. We congratulate our award winners!”

The Governor’s Award selection committee, comprising representatives from business, industry, nonprofits and education, judged each entry using a uniform set of criteria to measure overall effectiveness of partnership activities.

2020 Governor’s Award of Distinction Recipients

UNIVERSITY Governor’s Award of Distinction

Meridian Public School District with MSU Meridian Campus and Riley Center. District-wide arts integration and education, partnering with Any Given Child.

ELEMENTARY Governor’s Award of Distinction

Spann Elementary School (Jackson Public School District) with MS Office of Humanities, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Bellwether Community Church, Jr. League of Jackson, First Baptist Jackson, Jackson Academy, and MS Children’s Museum. “Prime Time Literacy” and “Planting the Seeds to Read” program to address literacy accomplishment and success, and improve student achievement.

2020 Governor’s Award Recipients

ELEMENTARY Governor’s Awards

Clinton Park, Northside, and Eastside Elementary Schools (Clinton Public School District) with Second Harvest Food Pantry. Project to educate school children about the importance of helping others, with the end result of promoting kindness, empathy, and reducing bullying.

Jackson Public Schools, Arise2Read, and multiple community partners. Mentoring and partnership program that helps improve student’s reading profiency.

Obama Magnet School (Jackson Public Schools) with multiple community partners. This project improves the overall health and wellness of the students.

Thames Elementary School (Hattiesburg Public School District) with Robert St. John and The New South Restaurant Group Community Council. Partnership to improve school culture and foster both academic excellence and ethics.

HIGH SCHOOL Governor’s Award

Lanier High School (Jackson Public School District) with Lanier High School National Alumni Association. Funding, supporting, and providing resources for academic success and college readiness.

Pearl River Central High School (Pearl River County School District) with multiple community partners. Student professional development that teaches life skills and provides experience.


Harrison County School District with multiple community partners. Combatting chronic absenteeism and raising attendance rates through a district-wide campaign.

Pascagoula-Gautier School District with multiple community partners. Pathways 2 Possibilities and Path that Pays programs with district and community wide support, to prepare students for entry into the workforce.

Vicksburg-Warren School District with multiple community partners. Funding and creation of program to update and improve schools into a college and career academy model.

2020 Partnership Excellence Award Recipients

 ELEMENTARY Partnership Excellence Award

F.B. Woodley Elementary School (Hattiesburg Public School District) with Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi, and Mississippi State University Extension Service. Improving the health of students plus building confidence and character.

Hawkins Elementary (Hattiesburg Public School District) with St. Paul Methodist Church. Programs that support nutrition and well-being, positive behavior intervention, and drug and alcohol awareness.

Lillie Burney STEAM Academy (Hattiesburg Public School District) with Phi Beta Sigma, St. Paul Methodist Church, and Pine Belt Mental Health. Empowering students, increasing academic proficiency and social responsibility, and increasing attendance.

Milam Elementary School (Tupelo Public Schools) with TVA and AEE. “Launching Leaders” program that fosters leadership characteristics such as courage, confidence, prioritizing, goal-setting, networking, and self-reflection.

Milam Elementary School (Tupelo Public Schools) with Circadence Corporation and MS National Guard. Introduces computer science as a career opportunity, and increases technology and cyber knowledge.

MIDDLE SCHOOL Partnership Excellence Awards

Chastain Middle School (Jackson Public Schools) with Eaton Aerospace. Supporting academic growth and achievement, behavior, social and emotional needs, and reducing absenteeism.

  1. R. Burger Middle School (Hattiesburg Schools) with Community Partners in Action. Supporting academic proficiency and developing social responsibility.

Sumner Hill Jr High School (Clinton Public Schools) with Mississippi State University Extension. “Welcome to the Real World!” program where students learn skills that lay the groundwork for success upon graduation and entering adulthood.

HIGH SCHOOL Partnership Excellence Awards

Brandon High School (Rankin County School District) with multiple community partners. Health Science Academy that offers a four-year curriculum for students interested healthcare careers.

Brandon High School (Rankin County School District) with multiple community partners. Teacher Academy that inspires students to pursue teaching careers.

Petal High School (Petal School District) with Chain Electric Company. Career preparation program that provides college credits.

Richland High School (Rankin County School District) with Richland Fire Department. Career and vocation training program.

UNIVERSITY Partnership Excellence Awards

Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District with Mississippi State University. Research, planning, fundraising, and development of a Partnership School focused on teacher training and hands-on learning.


MAPE has served as a statewide network of educators and community partners since 1984 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is committed solely to providing training and materials to help build local support for the success of all students.

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