Roses and thorns: 9-22-19

September 21, 2019 10:22:41 PM



A rose to the organizers of Bulldog Bash, which continues to grow as a top regional event. This year, thousands of fans gathered for the events, which began at 3 p.m. and culminated with a rousing Cotton District concert by Grammy-winning rapper T-Pain. By all accounts, the event came off without a hitch, just thousands of folks celebrating a fall football weekend. The event, sponsored by the MSU Student Association in conjunction with the city of Starkville and numerous corporate sponsors has grown from a small, on-campus concert when it started 20 years ago to a large-scale event. We applaud not only the organizers, but the city's fire and police departments for their efforts in making sure Bulldog Bash as a safe, fun event.



A rose to the Lowndes County School District, which has achieved a goal it has been working on for years - an "A" accountability rating from the Mississippi Department of Education. Last year, the district fell just a few points short of earning that "A," but they easily eclipsed the mark this year. Accountability scores, which rank schools and school districts on an A-F scale, are based on several factors. According to MDE, the scores for the 2018-19 school year are based on how well students perform and progress on end-of-year assessments for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The system also accounts for how students perform on fifth and eighth grade science tests. First and foremost, it's a great achievement by the students, but the "A" rating is also a recognition of the support the children have received from teachers, support staff, administrators and, of course, parents. Congratulations, all!




A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District for its efforts to keep the community informed and engaged. On Tuesday, the CMSD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Cherie Labat will hold another town-hall style meeting, this time at 6 p.m. at the Joe Cook Elementary School Auditorium. As with the meetings held last year, it's an opportunity for parents and citizens to ask questions and become more informed about what's happening in the school district. That's true for the CMSD officials, too. For them, the questions may be more valuable than the answers: an opportunity to hear what their stakeholders are concerned about. Keeping those lines of communication open are essential to progress for the school district. Stakeholders are not limited to district staff and parents. A couple of years ago, when CMSD warned of a possible tax increase, taxpayers of all walks of life came out of the woodwork and expressed concern for the district. Wouldn't it be nice if that happened again this week? We applaud CMSD officials for providing this opportunity and encourage everyone to participate. We're all in this together, after all.



A rose to Jennifer Prather, who announced last week she is stepping down as interim CEO for The Partnership after a year in that role. Prather is leaving for a job with the Mississippi Main Street Association, the state's tourism development agency. Although she served just one year as interim CEO, she provided stable leadership of the Partnership following the departure of CEO Scott Maynard. Prather's previous experience in the Partnership (six years in a variety of jobs) no doubt gave her the institutional knowledge needed to keep operations running smoothly. There is little question she'll be missed, but we wish her every success in the next chapter of her career.