Community News

Community News

Neshoba Central High School

The Neshoba Central High School Athletic Department is selling ALL Season Passes for students at a cost of $ 30. Adult All Season Passes are $ 100 each.

Mississippi State University 2020 Football Schedule


University of Mississippi 2020 Football Schedule

University of Southern Mississippi 2020 Football Schedule

Community Development Partnership

The Community Development Partnership announces the following special events for Philadelphia.

  • Small Business Saturday will be Saturday, November 28th

  • The Annual Christmas Parade will be Monday, December 7th at 6 PM in Downtown Philadelphia.

  • Moonlight Madness will be Thursday, December 10th from 6-9 PM.

  • December Third Thursday will be December 17th


Philadelphia Christmas Parade

The annual Philadelphia Christmas Parade is scheduled for Monday, December 7th at 6 PM. Entry forms are available at the Community Development Partnership office at the Depot or online at To comply with COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines Philadelphia Main Street has decided to host this year’s Christmas Parade at half capacity. Philadelphia Main Street will allow 65 parade entries. All parade spectators are strongly encouraged to wear mask and social distance to help maintain a safe and healthy community.



Neshoba Central Beta Club

The Neshoba Central Beta Club is holding a Food Drive to benefit OPEN ARMS Food Meal Ministry. NCHS BETA Club is collecting canned fruit & vegetables now thru December 11th.

Neshoba County

Election Returns

Unofficial Results

Neshoba County Unofficial Results (PDF FILE)

Road 210 Railroad Overpass Bridge Closed Immediately

The Neshoba County Board of Supervisors received notice today from the Office of State Aid Road Construction that the Bridge on County Road 210 that overpasses the closed Kansas City Southern railroad should be immediately closed due to a critical finding on one of the pilings.  This bridge is located just off Highway 492 West of Union.  The bridge was undergoing routine inspection by contracted bridge inspectors when the finding was discovered.  Temporary barricades have been erected and permanent barricades will be installed until the bridge can be repaired. 

Jarquez Hunter

a star on and off football field

Jarquez Hunter, right, with his best friend Kelby Holmes


Humble, likable, awesome and well-grounded are just a few words friends and administrators use to describe Neshoba Central High School’s star running back Jarquez Hunter.

The senior passed a major threshold and a personal goal recently, when he broke the touchdown record held by football legend Marcus Dupree for nearly 40 years.

The two are distant cousins.

Hunter scored his 88th touchdown when the Rockets defeated Holmes Central.  Dupree scored 87 touchdowns during his career at Philadelphia High School, breaking the national high school record set by Herschel Walker by one. Dupree played for the Tornados from 1978 to 1981.

At least one other football player from Mississippi, Dicenzo Miller, also broke Dupree’s record. He went on to play at Mississippi State University.

“Jarquez breaking that record is very special to all of us around this area,” High School Principal Jason Gentry said. “Marcus was a highly recruited high school athlete.”

Hunter set a personal goal to break the record.

“I knew I had to get five more touchdowns to beat the record,” he said. “I scored the five touchdowns against Holmes Central.”

He ran for 15 to 20 yards to get the TD.

 Hunter scored three touchdowns against Vicksburg to get to 91and XX more in last week’s homecoming game.

“I was excited because I beat Marcus Dupree’s record. He was one of the best high school football players ever,” he said.

Hunter’s mother, Kenyatta Ragsdale, jumped up and down with excitement.

“She was real proud,” Hunter said. “I got to keep the football that I scored with that night. She got me a frame to put the ball in.”

His father, Kenshay Hunter, called and congratulated him as well. He lives in Texas.

Dupree also called him.

“He was happy I broke his record,” Hunter said.

Despite his popularity across the county, Gentry said Hunter remains “a very humble, humble young man. He is always pleasant and smiling.  I tell people that as good a football player that he is, he’s a much better young man. He’ll tell you he is just another part of the team but we know how special he is.”

Hunter was recently elected Mr. Neshoba Central High School, with students voting from grades nine through 12.

He has already fielded calls from such universities as Vanderbilt, Virginia, Tulane, Memphis, Georgia Tech, the University of Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State.

He plans to study engineering in college and aspires to play in the NFL.

Neshoba Central Athletic Director Tommy Holland has followed Hunter’s career closely.

“When I think of him, the first word that comes to mind is humble,” Holland said. “He is so grounded. He is such a likeable and awesome kid that you want him to win not just on the football field but to win at life. He’s going to be an asset to whatever program, to whatever employer gets him. He’s got a work ethic like no other.”

Holland described Hunter as a leader on the football team.

“He pulls the wagon for the team. If he is playing well, they are playing well. It puts a lot of pressure on a young man. He leads by example not by voice. I’ve seen him challenge himself and other people, too.  He may not intend to make people around him better, but he does.”

Guidance Counselor Cindy Byrd said Hunter’s work ethic and “will to win” is what sets him apart from the rest.

She encouraged him to take the ACT again after he scored an 18.

“If we said: ‘Jarquez, you need an 18 on the ACT.’ He made it. Then he made a 20 the next time. It’s his will to win in every aspect of his life. He just excels.”

Byrd recalled how she returned to campus late one evening to walk on the track and saw Hunter there running.

“He was putting in the extra time,” she said. “There was not another teammate anywhere around.”

Kelby Holmes also described his best friend and teammate as humble.

“On the field, he’s a humble athlete,” he said.

The two have grown up together.

“He’s a great friend. We have our disagreements at times about our mistakes and stuff like that on the football field.  He’s a friendly person. He gets along with everybody on the team. He doesn’t ever lose his cool.”

Hunter also plays basketball and runs track at Neshoba Central. He did power lifting last year.

“When he power lifts, he lifts in shorts, tights and boots,” Gentry said. “I laughed when I saw him. He’s just an ole country boy as we say.”

In his free time, Hunter likes to ride horses, fish, hunt and ride four wheelers.

His next goal is to help the Rockets bring home the Class 5A state championship trophy.


  • Story and photo by Debbie Burt Myers

Two NC seniors appointed to

state superintendent’s council


Two Neshoba Central High School students were named to the state Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, the Mississippi Department of Education announced.

To have two students serve on the council simultaneously is a first for the school district.

Mary Kate Moran and Sofia Euyoque will serve two-year terms on the council, which includes students in grades 11 and 12 or first-year college members.

Both are seniors at Neshoba Central and members of Dr. Lundy Brantley’s Student Advisory Board.

The two applied for the state council through online applications.

Brantley, Neshoba County’s superintendent of education, was proud of both seniors.

“These two young ladies are so well deserving of this honor,” he said. “Both are on my student advisory and give valuable insight on how to improve our school.”

The students and other members of the state superintendent’s advisory council will act as liaisons between MDE and public-school students from across the state.

Their first meeting is this week through a Zoom session.

More than 300 students from across the state applied for the state superintendent’s council and 163 were selected. They will join the more than 70 students who were selected in 2019.

These 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.

“You can actually submit problems you see in the school to the advisory council and share ideas you think could improve Mississippi school districts,” Moran said.

Euyoque said the state council uses the same process as Dr. Brantley’s advisory board.

“They are just looking for your opinion on ways to improve schools,” she said.

Euyoque is also on Dr. Brantley’s Strategic Planning Committee along with others including parents from the community.

 “We talk about how we can improve our school and we talk about the goals we want to reach,” she said.

Moran hopes the state council will look at ways to improve virtual learning and address problems associated with a lack of high speed Internet access in homes across the state.

“Today, we obviously are having virtual learning with hybrid schedules,” Moran said. “I think we have realized how many students don’t have access to technology.  It’s not that they don’t have computers, some of their homes don’t have access to Internet because they live so far out in the county.  I think we need to look at how we are distributing Internet in Mississippi.”

Euyoque agreed.

“Personally for now, I do want to see more options for students to get technology to do their online work,” she said. “Every school in Mississippi, elementary through high school, is dealing with the pandemic and learning and doing assignments. As for physical school, diversity is also a big thing. We need representation of every culture and every background.”

Both students agreed that the hybrid schedule does have its good points in preparing them for college life.

“Hybrid is better than completely virtual,” Moran said.

“Actually, I like it. It is kinda similar to how it will be in college next year. It’s not ideal. We’d rather be here I’m sure.”

Moran said the hybrid schedule teaches students how to manage their time.

“In a lot of my classes, you have assignments due at the end of the week.  They just have to be done by Friday. I think students realize that if you wait until Friday, it’s going to be harder so they are learning how it should be done.”

Euyoque agreed that the hybrid schedule has been a lesson in time management.

 “I am in favor of it because it prepares us for college in an unfortunate way,” she said.

Both students feel it is very important for all students across the state to have access to the high speed Internet service.

“I’m so excited to see what we are going to talk about on the council and how they are going to put our information to use,” Euyoque said.

Moran is the daughter of Emily and Brett Moran.

At Neshoba Central, she is a member of FBLA, Beta, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, Dance Team and National Honor Society.

 Neshoba County’s current Distinguished Young Woman, Moran plans to attend Mississippi State University and study biological sciences and then go to medical school.

She works part time at Ms. Tina’s Studio.

Euyoque is the daughter of Patricia and Jose Euyoque.

At Neshoba, she is a member of Beta, Mu Alpha Theta, Bible Club and FBLA. She is the drum major in the Big Blue Band where she plays clarinet.  She is Student Body president and senior class president.

Euyoque will enroll in a university after graduation where she plans to major either in music performance or music education.

“I want to be a band director and a teacher,” she said.

 Both Euyoque and Moran are members of Holy Cross Catholic Church.

 “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with such smart, insightful students last year, and I’m looking forward to hearing from our new members on issues of importance to them,” Wright said. “The public-school students of our state are our clients, and we need to ensure that we provide them with the opportunities they need to be successful. The council also allows students, who wouldn’t normally have the chance to interact, to talk with peers in different areas of our state.”

·         Story and photo by Debbie Burt Myers

Open Arms Food

Meal Ministry

During the pandemic, Open Arms Food-Meal Ministry is providing bags of food to the community on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 3:45 PM UNTIL 5:15 THIS IS A NEW DISTRIBUTION TIME BECAUSE OF REDUCE DAYLIGHT HOURS. They are located at 239 Railroad Ave. For more information call 601-663-8505. Next Dates will be Tuesday,  December 8 & 22 and remember new hours of 3:45 pm-5:15 pm.

Neshoba County Soil & Water District Tree Sale

The Neshoba County Soil & Water Conservation District is conduction its annual sale of trees that will arrive in February of 2021. Contact the District for a list of available trees for purchase this year. Deadline to order trees will be Monday, November 30th. You must pay for the trees at time your order is placed. You will be contacted as soon as trees arrive. These are bare root trees so it is important that you pick them up as soon as your order arrives. Contact Erica Fortenberry at the Soil & Water District Office. The number is 601-656-8783 extension 3.

Neshoba Central NJROTC TOY DRIVE


The Neshoba Central NJROTC will be participating in this years United States Marine Corp TOYS FOR TOTS drive. Neshoba Central will be a coordinator this year. The NJROTC will be collecting NEW UNWRAPPED TOYS at Rocket Field during the playoff game with Ridgeland Friday, November 20th. The collection barrel will be located at the kiosk area near the home bleachers. In, addition collection points will be set up at points located at each school in the district. Contact Captain Regan Kieff at 985-951-0366 or Chief Keith Page at 601-562-1097.

The Neshoba County Sanitation Department announces the following






Thursday, November 26th, 2020

The Route scheduled for Friday, November 27th will be picked up as normal.

The Route scheduled for Thanksgiving day will be picked up on Monday, November 30th. 

Please have garbage for both the Monday and previous Thursday routes out by 7:00 AM as pickup times may vary.

The Waste Convenience Station at the Neshoba County Unit Facility Building will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will be open Friday, November 27th

from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM and Saturday, November 28th from 7:00 AM until noon.


WHEREAS, on March 14,2020,pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Mississippi and Miss. Code
Ann.§ 33-15-11(b)(17), I issued a Proclamation declaring that a State of Emergency exists in the
State of Mississippi as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS,  on January 31, 2020,the United States Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for COVID-19 beginning on January 27,
2020,on March 11,2020,the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic, and on
March 13,2020, the President of the United States declared a nationwide state of emergency due to
the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS,  the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person­
to-person transmission throughout the United States and Mississippi significantly impacts the life
and health of our people, as well as the economy of Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the sacrifices made by all Mississippians in the interest of public health
over the past seven months, COVID-19 infections and resulting hospitalizations have been
effectively managed; and

WHEREAS,  the Safe Recovery Order instituted in Executive Order 1525 further reducing restrictions  
on  all businesses and non-profits operating within  the  State  of Mississippi and permitting the
resumption of all community activities subject to reasonable limitations to minimize person to
person interactions and associated risk of transmission of COVID-19 has been extended and remains
in full force and effect until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 2020, unless it is
modified,amended,rescinded,or superseded; and

WHEREAS,  Mississippi must protect lives while restoring livelihoods, both of which can be achieved
with the expert advice of medical professionals and business leaders; and

WHEREAS, as Mississippi continues to safely recover, the key to reducing spread of COVID-19 is  the
 continued  implementation  of  reasonable  public  health  measures  under  the  current
circumstances including social distancing,limited capacity of gatherings where individuals are in
prolonged close proximity, and use of face coverings for individuals engaged in close proximity
activities and for prolonged gatherings where social distancing is not feasible; and

WHEREAS,  since the institution of the Safe Recovery Order, many jurisdictions throughout
Mississippi have shown a stabilized rate of diagnosis of new cases, however, the State Health
Officer has reported that data from certain jurisdictions of the state (a) indicate periods of
higher numbers of new cases over shorter periods of time accounting for larger percentage of the
State's overall case count, (b) have higher percent incidence of positive cases per number of tests
performed,  and  (c)  have  other  public  health  indicators  reflecting  on-going  community
transmission; and

WHEREAS, testing and contact tracing throughout the state allows healthcare providers and the State
Health Officer to monitor and gauge the rate and locations of new COVID-19 cases enabling a prompt
response to areas showing an increased rate of transmission; and

WHEREAS,  on November 10, 2020, upon counsel and recommendation of the State Health Officer, I
issued Executive Order 1530, amending Executive Order 1527, establishing additional
jurisdiction-specific measures to address and further limit person to person contact and other
health and safety measures in Benton, Carroll, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Harrison, Humphreys,
Jackson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Leflore, Lee, Marshall, Rankin and Yalobusha Counties to further
disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus within those Counties; and

WHEREAS, on November 17, 2020, upon the counsel and recommendation of the State Health Officer, I
issued Executive Order 1531, further amending Executive Order 1527, establishing additional
jurisdiction-specific measures to address and further limit person to person contact and other
health and safety measures in Hinds, Itawamba, Madison, Montgomery, Pontotoc,Tate and Winston
Counties to further disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus within those Counties; and

WHEREAS,  upon counsel and recommendation of the State Health Officer, Alcorn, Attala, Bolivar,
Chickasaw, Choctaw, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lowndes, Neshoba, Panola,
Perry, Prentiss, Stone, Tippah, Tishomingo and Union Counties have been identified as additional
regions of the State that currently are at a higher risk for transmission of COVID-19;
accordingly,additional jurisdiction-specific measures are necessary in these Counties to disrupt
the spread of COVID-19 to address and further limit person to person contact and implement other
health and safety measures.

NOW, THEREFORE,  I, Tate Reeves, Governor of the State of Mississippi, by the authority vested in
me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Mississippi,and in consultation with the State
Health Officer do hereby order and direct as follows:

I.         Paragraph II of Executive Order 1530, amending Paragraph II of Executive Order
1527 is further amended to add Alcorn, Attala, Bolivar, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Jefferson Davis,
Jones,Lafayette,Lawrence, Lincoln,Lowndes, Neshoba, Panola, Perry, Prentiss,Stone,
Tippah,Tishomingo and Union Counties.

II.        This amendment to Paragraph II of Executive Order 1530 shall be effective at 8:00 a.m.
on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, and shall remain in full force and effect until 5:00 p.m. on
Friday, December 11, 2020, unless it is modified, amended, rescinded,or superseded.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of
Mississippi to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Jackson, on the  24th day  of November,in the year of our Lord, two thousand and twenty, and of the Independence of the United
States of America, the two hundred and forty-fifth.



Notice is hereby given that the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors will hold its regular meetings for the months of October, November and December 2020 as follows:

Monday     October 5, 2020            9:00 AM

Monday     October 19, 2020          9:00 AM Monday     November 2, 2020        9:00  AM    Monday      November 16, 2020      9:00 AM

Monday     December 7, 2020         9:00 AM       Monday     December 21, 2020       9:00 AM


All Board Meetings are held at the Neshoba County Courthouse in the Board of Supervisors meeting room.  Any special meetings will be posted on the Neshoba County Courthouse bulletin board and published on the Neshoba County website at at least five (5) days prior to the meeting.            


Stew Daddy Show Returns to

Neshoba Central

The Stew Daddy Morning Show returned to Neshoba Central where several teachers and principals joined the superintendent in giving host Jeff Stewart, right, an update on all things happening on campus. From left are Mary Lou Johnson, coach Chelsea Fulton and elementary principal Tiffany Plott.

To the beat of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” the Stew Daddy Morning Show returned to Neshoba Central High School to talk about everything from dyslexia therapy to “country jay” baseball.

The morning show was scheduled to return to campus in the spring but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hence the welcome back theme song.

WWSL radio host Jeff Stewart talked with the superintendent, administrators and teachers during the three-hour show, filling the high school library with lots of laughter as well as some serious conversations about important issues. There was also a lot of boasting about athletics including the undefeated football team, the state champion bowling team and the successful first year of volleyball.

This was Stewart’s fourth time to bring his show to Neshoba Central.

Superintendent of Education Lundy Brantley said the morning show was a great venue to keep listeners informed about everything that’s going on in the school district.

New to the show this year was Mary Lou Johnson, a dyslexia therapist, at the elementary school.

Johnson shared her struggles and the journey her family faced when her son was diagnosed with dyslexia. He is now a high school football coach at Neshoba Central.

She began her career as a special education teacher at a middle school in another school district.

“I had a room full of smart students but they couldn’t learn how to read,” she said. “I had never been trained on how to teach reading. Over the last 25 to 26 years, there has been so much research in the area of dyslexia. When I went to school, you didn’t even say the word dyslexia.”

Johnson knew her special education students were very intelligent, but for some reason, they couldn’t learn how to read in the traditional way.

“The Lord blessed me with a son and little did I know that he had dyslexia,” she said.

Johnson later learned about the Scottish Rite For Children Hospital in Dallas that is supported by Masons and Shriners.

“They had a video program about dyslexia which they brought to the Mississippi Department of Education. A law came about in 1997 that allowed schools to do a pilot program and use this video program. I was allowed to do that and I saw a great transformation in my students and in my son,” Johnson said.

“It led me to not be satisfied with just being a facilitator using a video program.”

Johnson went back to college and earned a master’s degree in dyslexia therapy from Mississippi College. In addition to her role now at Neshoba Central, she is an adjunct professor at Mississippi College in the Master’s Program.

Her family struggles and the fact that her son can read is a great story, which she often shares.

“Something you think is a curse becomes a blessing,” she said.

Johnson said Dr. Brantley, Dr. Penny Hill and elementary principal Tiffany Plott convinced her that coming to Neshoba Central was the right career move.

She was very happy in her role in the Tribal Schools.

Once at Neshoba, she applied for and was awarded a $45,000 grant for the school to purchase supplies, bring in training and help fund additional therapists.

“Neshoba is one of five in the state that has this grant,” she said.

While dyslexia is inherited and lifelong, Johnson said with structured intervention, one can be very successful.

Plott said the incorporation of dyslexia therapy in schools is one of the best things she has seen happen in education over her 28-year career.

“We are extremely lucky that we have Mrs. Johnson and that we are able to provide this therapy in our school,” she said. “People ask me all the time, ‘how did you get her to come work for you?’ I don’t know how!”

Plott called Johnson “one of the premier leaders in our state in dyslexia therapy. She has taught me so much in the last couple of years,” she said.

 Country jay

Plott introduced elementary physical education coach Chelsea Fulton to the morning show listeners.

“She is a ‘rock star’ on the elementary campus. All the kids love the PE coaches. They hang the moon at the elementary,” she said.

Fulton discussed all aspects of the PE program, from playing wiffle ball to basketball and soccer.

After polling some students and teachers about their knowledge of country jay, Plott used the PE classes to teach students how to play her favorite childhood game.

“You have the batter, the pitcher and the catcher,” Fulton learned from her lesson. “Everybody else spreads out outside. The batter hits the ball. The person that catches it gets to come bat but it the batter hits a ground ball, the person that fields cleanly and makes a good throw to the pitcher, then becomes the pitcher. The pitcher then becomes the catcher and the catcher becomes the batter,” Fulton said.

Plott was happy to learn that the students enjoyed the game even though they used a wiffle ball instead of a baseball.

She also noted the success of the school’s food and snack pantries. The Philadelphia Masonic Lodge recently donated $1,000 to the pantries.

 Plott said the world has changed in wake of Covid-19, which has affected many Neshoba families.

“A lot of people are in a lot of different circumstances,” she said. “Family members have lost jobs. We tell people all the time that it’s not something to be ashamed of. It is a blessing for us to help people.”

The snack pantry is also for those students who simply forgot to bring something from home.

“Parents are busy these days running from daylight to dark and then you get your kid in the car line and simply forgot to pack a snack,” Plott said. “We are really blessed to be able to have that resource so that every kid every day at our school gets a snack.”

 Middle school abuzz

Middle school principal Cody Killen introduced Tonya Hancock and MaKenzie Goldman to the morning show.

They were joined by the Jeremy Chalmers or the “Boston Bully” as he is known on the show.

Killen talked about their strategic planning meeting the day before and noted that the campus was evolving.

“We don’t want to be stagnate,” he said.

Stewart said the Neshoba campus felt more like a college campus and Chalmers agreed, saying high expectations are nice to see.

“We offer opportunities beyond a high school diploma,” Killen said.

Hancock teaches math at the middle school. While a lot of math is taught on computer, she said they still “like to go old school” on occasion.

“We go outside to get out of the classroom and away from computers,” she said.

Hancock said what she learned in the 11th grade has now been pushed down to seventh and eighth grade math level.

Goldman is the cheer coach at Neshoba Middle School and also teaches math inclusion.

“I travel to three different classrooms a day,” she said. “We have three teachers who teach completely different.”

This is her second year to teach.

She said Killen took a chance on her being younger and with no experience.

“I think being young, I can relate to the kids. We listen to the same music and they confide in me a lot.”


Marine turned educator

Captain Regan Kieff of the Junior ROTC program was also new to the morning show.

He told listeners that the focus of the program this year was flexibility and adaptability.

A retired marine, Kieff said he never pictured himself as an educator but noted that he felt welcome by the school and community from day one.

“It’s a dream job,” he said. “It’s not really a job. It’s therapeutic for me.”

He talked about the JROTC pushup brigade, which supports the football team by doing pushups after every touchdown. Kieff joins them as well.

Seven pushups for every touchdown.

Nursing during a pandemic

Middle school nurse Misty Holland talked about her role during the Covid-19 pandemic, telling listeners that her job was to keep students in school.

“Things have changed tremendously for a school nurse,” Holland said. “Our students and staff have just killed it. They are wearing masks and social distancing. It is amazing.”

Holland said Neshoba Central was blessed to have a nurse in every building.

“It’s a great team and we are doing such a great job,” she said. “I can’t thank our staff and students enough.”


New faces at high school, sports

Assistant high school principal Brent Pouncey also made his first appearance on the morning show.  He was introduced by high school principal Jason Gentry.

Pouncey suffered a stroke at a young age and often shares his story of how he struggled to come back and learned to handle adversity with his students.


First year high school librarian Libby Eldridge talked about all the good things going on in the library and her plans to bring about improvements.

“Things are moving with all the new technology,” she said. “My goal when I came here was for the kids to come to the library and not play and watch TV. I want them to develop a love for reading.”

Athletic director Tommy Holland talked about the football team’s work ethic on and off the field.

He praised the coaches’ wives, who open the doors of their homes to players.

There are a lot of back porch conversations that have nothing to do with athletics, he said.

“Coaches are an extension of parents,” Holland said. “Those relationships never go away.”


A different culture

Dr. Brantley returned to the show at the end, telling listeners that while the buildings are big at Neshoba Central, it’s a small, close knit school inside.

“Our elementary is probably the second largest in the state,” Brantley said. “We make it feel small with 20 or 21 kids in a class. There’s a big advantage because we have more opportunities. We welcome new students. I’ve been the new kid before so we make it feel like a community. It’s a large look but a small feel.”

People are attracted to the culture we have built, he said.

Stewart agreed.

“The word is out that Neshoba Central is on the move,” he said.


* Story and photos by Debbie Burt Myers