STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Starkville School District celebrated the best of the best during its awards program Friday morning at the Greensboro Center, recognizing
outstanding faculty and support staff.
Nominated by their peers at each school and selected by a district wide committee, school leaders say the award winners represent a true commitment to the Starkville School District.
The award recipients are:
SSD Outstanding Teacher (SSD Teacher of the Year)
Tate Fischer, Starkville High School
SSD Outstanding First Year Teacher
Scott Munsell, Starkville High School
SSD Outstanding Certified Non-Classroom Educator
Erica Thomas, Henderson
SSD Outstanding Team Award
Sudduth Friendship Playground Team, Sudduth Elementary School
SSD Outstanding Classified Support Staff
Alvin Rogers, Sudduth Elementary School
Walter Sudduth, Ward Stewart
SSD Outstanding Salaried Non-Certified Personnel
Diana Williams, Ward Stewart
The Starkville Foundation for Public Education honored Starkville High School journalism teacher R.J. Morgan as the recipient of the Paul Cuicchi Innovative Educator Award on Friday during the faculty awards program at the Greensboro Center.
The Foundation chose to honor Mr. Morgan for his exemplary classroom instruction in the area of high school journalism.
“One facet of the Foundation’s mission is to recognize teachers who are dynamic and innovative in the classroom,” said Nelle Cohen, SFPE Vice-President. “We want to celebrate those educators who inspire their students to become lifelong learners and active participants in the world around them.
Morgan is a teacher who not only teaches his craft extremely well – he motivates his students to achieve at the highest level. The list of his students’ awards and recognitions is very impressive.”
“For anyone who ever taught with Paul Cuicchi, there’s simply no higher honor than to be mentioned in the same breathe as him, or with guys like [past Cuicchi award winner] Ty Adair,” Morgan said. “Those guys have
made such an impact on this district, and on me as a young teacher, that I just can’t put into words what this award means to me on a personal level.”
“This district has given me so much over the last six years, it really is tough to walk out the door and move on,” Morgan added. “Working here has been a thrill and an honor, and I’ll always be a Yellow Jacket in spirit.”
Morgan announced earlier this year he is leaving his position at SHS to teach journalism at the University of Mississippi. He’ll also be the director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Assocation, where he will
work with high school journalism programs around the state.
Cohen also presented Morgan with a $500 check from the Foundation.
Morgan was named SSD’s Teacher of the Year in 2009, and he was the Teacher of the Year for Mississippi’s Third Congressional District and a finalist for Mississippi Teacher of the Year. Morgan was also honored by the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association as Broadcast Adviser of the Year, Newspaper Adviser of the Year, and Yearbook Adviser of the Year.
The award was established in 2010 to honor Dr. Paul Cuicchi upon his retirement after 33 years at SHS.
The Starkville School District and the Starkville Foundation for Public Education inducted SHS alumnus Dr. Steve Brandon into the SHS Hall of Famous on Thursday.
Dr. Brandon is a 1978 graduate of Starkville High School. After graduating from SHS, Dr. Brandon attended Millsaps College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.
He did his residency in family practice at the University of Virginia, Roanoke Memorial Hospital, before returning to Starkville in 1992 to The Family Clinic.
Dr. Brandon was honored with the Arthur A. Derick Award in 2007 which is presented to outstanding physicians for their contributions to medicine and support of quality improvement.
Dr. Brandon is an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, and he’s a past president of the Starkville Foundation for Public Education. Dr. Brandon has also actively supported Boy Scouts of America, and he’s served on the health council at Sudduth Elementary School.
“Dr. Brandon has clearly distinguished himself in the medical profession and has served the Starkville community in an admirable and unselfish manner,” wrote Paul Cuicchi, a 2010 Hall of Famous inductee and Dr. Brandon’s physics teacher at SHS.
The Hall of Famous was established to recognize those individuals who have distinguished themselves in their chosen vocation through their association with Starkville High School and the Starkville School District.
Dr. Brandon and his wife Kathy have three children, who attended the Starkville School District. Caroline and Emily graduated from SHS, while Jonathan is currently a student in the SSD.