School board welcomes newest additions to the districtBy NIKKI SMITH,
Super stars, special people, cream of the crop, family, new Panthers. These were all the ways Petal School District’s newest employees were described Tuesday by Superintendent Matt Dillon and principals at their respective schools.
Petal School District Board of Trustees and administrators welcomed the 39 new teachers to the district with a reception before the board’s monthly meeting.
The new teachers were also brought before the board for special recognition honoring their decision to join the Petal family.
“They are the cream of the crop and really stood out in the applicant pool,” Dillon said. “We are happy to have them join the Panther family. We are fortunate to have them and their families here with us.”
Approximately 14 of the new additions are in their first year of teaching. The other new teachers had anywhere from one to 30 years of experience before joining Petal School District.
According to Dillon, the teachers moved from all over the country to Petal.
“We were glad to find you and glad you were looking for us,” said board chairman Bruce Magee.
Petal Primary School: Rachel Anzivino, second grade teacher; Mary Beth Campo, kindergarten teacher; Jordan Davis, kindergarten teacher; Jennifer Goodwin, second grade teacher; Ashley Harvey assistant principal; Brady Hoda, sped teacher; Aubrey Houpt, first grade teacher; Shelly Jackson, PE teacher; Erin Lombardo, second grade teacher; Kim Lumpkins, student support coordinator; Alana Smith, Pre-K sped teacher; Kimberly Walker, second grade teacher.
Petal Elementary School: Dustin Crawford, transition teacher; Candis Crigler, fourth grade teacher; Anne Conner-Dickerson, fourth grade teacher; Katie Singleton, fourth grade teacher.
Petal Upper Elementary School: Donald Bell, band director; Joseph Gibbons, fifth grade ELA teacher; Kaylynn Stockstill, sixth grade math teacher; Katie Windham, sixth grade math teacher.
Petal Middle School: Ashley Felder, seventh grade LA teacher; Kathy Hicks, seventh grade math teacher; Kristi Buckley, eighth grade inclusion teacher; Nikki Robinson, eighth grade math teacher; Salina McMichael, librarian; Victoria Kubicki, seventh grade ELA teacher.
Petal High School: Martha Abadie, English teacher; Troy Barton, assistant boys’ basketball coach; Kotreece Bender, girls’ basketball coach; James Bowman, assistant principal; Victoria Boyles, math teacher; Kimberley Clay, science teacher; Jackson Cline, chemistry teacher; Jessica Douglas, science teacher; Greg Howard, history teacher; Jana Ishee, English teacher; Todd Kimble, boys’ basketball coach; Whitney McBeth, history teacher; Andrea Short, assistant principal.