HATTIESBURG - First-year students in the Pearl River Community College dental hygiene program brightened the smiles of 25 kids from the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Hattiesburg. The students and children took part Friday, Feb. 1, in the annual Give Kids A Smile event sponsored by the South Mississippi Dental Society and PRCC. The PRCC students cleaned and polished each child’s teeth and made sure they know the proper technique for brushing and flossing. A dentist then checked the PRCC students’ work and examined the children’s teeth. “The main reason we participate is to give back to the community,” said Dr. Shana Allen, director of the PRCC program. “It’s also a wonderful learning experience for our students.” Six-year-old Rory Hall Jr., a student at Lillie Burney Elementary School, used a hand mirror to watch what PRCC student Cindy Nguyen of St. Martin was doing inside his mouth. “I like her washing my teeth,” he said. PRCC and area dentists have partnered on Give Kids A Smile for nine years, said Dr. Lana Clarke of Hattiesburg, coordinator for the dental society. “It is basically a way for us to reach out to the community and try to make a difference,” she said. PRCC provides the hygienists and the clinic while the dental society provides supplies and dentists. Dr. Bill Tolbert of Hattiesburg also assisted with the exams. For more information on the PRCC dental hygiene program or to make an appointment at the clinic, telephone 601 554-5509.
The Soundsations from Petal High School were first runner-up in the Mississippi Showchoir Contest hosted by Pearl River Community College on Feb. 2. PRCC Public Relations photo
The Central Attraction showchoir from Pearl River Central High School performs Feb. 2 during the Mississippi Showchoir Contest hosted by Pearl River Community College. Central Attraction was fourth runner-up in the contest. PRCC Public Relations photo
HATTIESBURG - South Jones High School’s showchoir, Company, came away from the Mississippi Showchoir Contest as Grand Champion. The group also took home the awards for best visual performance and best vocal performance during the contest hosted Feb. 1 and 2 at William Carey University by the choral department of Pearl River Community College. First runner-up was Petal High School’s Soundsations, which also earned the best show design award. Petal High’s Chloe Webb won the Grand Champion solo award. Petal’s Innovations women’s showchoir was named third runner-up. Second runner-up was West Jones High School’s Imagination and fourth runner-up was Central Attraction from Pearl River Central High School. Tiger Vibe from Northeast Jones Middle School won the middle school Class A division and Clinton Junior High’s Ambassadors took the middle school Class AA title. Haley Holifield of Northeast Jones won the middle school solo competition. Twenty-four junior and senior high school showchoirs competed in the contest. RiverRoad, PRCC’s showchoir, and The Voices ensemble performed in exhibition both days. Members of both groups as well as the PRCC Singers concert choir along with parent volunteers sold t-shirts and concessions and worked as announcers and hosts. Judges were Dr. Mark Malone of Carey, formerly PRCC choral director; Dr. Johnathan Kilgore of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County campus; Dr. Webb Parker of the University of Southern Mississippi; and Ken Thomas of Enterprise State Community College in Enterprise, Ala. Judi Holifield of Laurel judged the solo competition. Proceeds from the contest will go towards RiverRoad’s trip to New York City next month. The group will serve as a host choir at the 2013 Show Choir National Championship Series for high school choirs. LaDona Tyson is director of PRCC choral groups.
Pearl River Community College football will be having an open tryout for the 2013 football team.
The non-contact tryouts will be on Saturday, February 9th, 2013. Players should report to the football field house where registration will be at 10:00am, with tryouts beginning at 10:30am in Dobie Holden Stadium. Participants will be responsible for bringing shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, and cleats.
Tryouts are opened to unsigned players that meet National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) eligibility standards.
POPLARVILLE - More than 150 high school students competed Thursday, Feb. 7, in Skills USA regional competition held at Pearl River Community College. Those who placed first, second and third in each category will advance to the state Skills USA competition Feb. 26 and 27 in Jackson. The students were welcomed to PRCC by Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, vice president for economic and community development. Fifty percent of today’s jobs require the type of knowledge learned in programs that are part of Skills USA, he said. “Skills USA is a great organization,” Alsobrooks said. “It helps keep in place the skills that are needed to keep this world ticking.” Winners in each category are as follows: Architectural drafting - Brant Dedon of Harrison County Vo-Tech Center, first; Bryce Sheasby. Forrest County Agricultural High School, second; Chase Byrd, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, third. Automotive service - C.J. Swanson, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, first; David Sucharsky, Gulfport High Technology Center, second; Christopher Helton, Greene County Vo-Tech, third. Cabinetmaking - Sean French, Ocean Springs Career-Technical Education, first; Adam Westmoreland, Harrison County Vo-Tech, second; Lane Dwyer, Jackson County Technology Center, third. Carpentry - Reggie Warren, Jackson County Technology Center, first; Christian Slausser, Gulfport High Technology Center, second; Blake Ladner, Harrison County Vo-Tech, third. Extemporaneous speaking - Kolton Manning, Greene County Vo-Tech, first; Robert Bawcum, Jackson County Technology Center, second; Kathryn Holtz, Gulfport High Technology Center, third. Job interview - Taylor Harris, Harrison County Vo-Tech, first; Bill Draughn, Petal High School, second; Aubrey Phillips, Gulfport High Technology Center, third. Job skills demonstration A - Isaac Brealand of Greene County Vo-Tech, first; Cara Rizzo, second, and Ricky Sudduth, third, both of Pascagoula High School Vo-Tech. Job skills demonstration open - Tracey Le, Biloxi High School Career and Technology Center, first; Christopher Heathcock, second, and Mackenzie Walley, third, both of Greene County Vo-Tech. Masonry - Corey Anderson and Joseph Gollott, Jackson Co9unty Technology Center, first; Damahree Xayasane and Mike Ladner, Gulfport High Technology Center, second; Daulton Speed and Rasheeme Moses, North Forrest High School, third. Precision machining - Thomas Hunter of Pascagoula High School Vo-Tech Center, first; Donavon Hoda, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, second; Mathew Hartfield, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, third. Prepared speech - Nathan Reed, first, and Ariel Johnson, second, both of Greene County Vo-Tech; Daniel Pratt, Biloxi High School Career and Technology Center, third. Quiz Bowl - Team B of Taylor Cabrera, Kahlin Frontera-Ocasio, Estrella Martinez, Destiny Reynolds and Erin Schlicht, Biloxi High School Career and Technology Center, first; Team 1 of Aaron Albritton, Charles French, Andrew Hicks, Blake Morrow, and Logan Thompson of Forrest County AHS, second; Ty Dearman, Cortez Hinton, Angelo Peters, Rodney Taylor and Hayden West of Greene County Vo-Tech, third. Related technical math - Anthony Nichols, Harrison County Vo-Tech, first; Julian Richardson, Petal High School, second; Dylan Spencer, Jackson County Technology Center, third. Residential wiring - Ben Broom, Carl Loftin Career Center in Columbia, first; Dylan Frayser, Jackson County Technology Center, second; Ruben Lopez, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, third. Sheet metal - Drake Broome, Lamar County Center for Technical Education, first; Tyler Stidham, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, second. Technical drafting - Beau King, Hancock County Vo-Tech Center, first; Taylor Valdez, Harrison County Vo-Tech, second; Michala Jerome, Forrest County AHS, third. Welding - Devin Duvall, Greene County Vo-Tech, first; Joseph Cuevas, Hancock County Vo-Tech, second; Justin Brown, George County High School, third.
Ben Broom, a student at Carl Loftin Career Center in Columbia, works on his residential wiring assignment Feb. 7 during Skills USA high school competition at Pearl River Community College. He placed first and advances to state competition.
POPLARVILLE - Approximately 250 high school musicians will be at Pearl River Community College Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, for the PRCC Band Clinic. The students will be divided into two bands which will present a concert at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Olivia Bender Cafeteria. Clinicians are Dr. Jamie Standland, assistant director of bands at the University of Southern Mississippi, and Deedee Pitts, director of bands at Gulfport Middle School. The PRCC Symphonic Band will perform for the students at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and the PRCC JazzCats will play at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. Dr. Kyle Hill is PRCC director of bands, assisted by Mike Bass. Archie Rawls, chair of the PRCC Department of Fine Arts and Communication, directs the JazzCats. The public is invited to all of the concerts.
POPLARVILLE - Dub “PawPaw” Herring brought advice for Pearl River Community College business students to campus Thursday telling them a good work ethic is the first thing they need to learn. “Nobody really gives you anything,” he said. “What we find today is there is not a good work ethic.” Herring, 78, owns Herring Ford and PawPaw’s Camper City in Picayune and is a long-time supporter of PRCC. He spoke as part of the Business in Your World lecture series at PRCC. He told the students he grew up in poverty and began earning money when he was 9 years old. He started shining shoes during World War II at Camp McCain near Grenada, sold newspapers to the soldiers and racked balls at his uncle’s near-by pool hall. “I learned the work ethic,” he said. Herring attended Holmes Junior College, the end of his formal education. “For the rest of my life, I’ve been educating myself by reading books and following others’ successes,” he said. After getting married, he worked for several years for the post office in Pascagoula but found the security of a steady paycheck came with strings attached. “There was no incentive to do better,” he said. Herring left the steady job to sell cars on commission. “I had to take a chance,” he said. “I didn’t know that I could do that but I knew I could give it a shot. I just went a little extra mile. Nobody worked harder than me or was more enthusiastic than me.” Herring found his keys to success when he took the chance: • Treat people right. • Have ambition. • Step through the door when opportunity knocks. • Believe in yourself. He moved on to become a shareholder in a larger dealership in Biloxi. But when he was treated for depression, the other shareholders forced him out. With the check for his shares of the Biloxi business, he bought the Ford dealership in Picayune. “It was not easy at all,” Herring said. “Most small business people you see today, some where they’ve laid it all on the line. “I learned that successful people plan. I started writing down at night what I wanted to do the next day. At the end of the year, I’d write down 10 things I wanted to do the next year.” As his businesses grew and he opened more locations, Herring remembered he had been advised to always own the land. That advice proved valuable when the economy crashed in 2007. “I started closing stores,” he said. “The economy was going down but I owned all the property. It’s all leased out now. God’s been good to me.” Herring said faith has played an important role in his life and is the reason he has founded homes for abused women and children and residential programs for women with substance abuse problems.
Dub “PawPaw” Herring speaks to business students at Pearl River Community College Thursday. PRCC Public Relations photo
More than 600 high school students from Pearl River Community College's service district converged on the Poplarville campus on Feb. 19 for the Career-Technical Education High School Conference.
Each student chose three of PRCC's career-technical programs to visit and went on a walking tour of the campus.
The students were treated to a pizza lunch at Dobie Holden Stadium as part of the conference.
Aaron Warden of Hancock High School, left, and Kirk Stringer of Forrest County Agricultural High School bend conduit in the electrical technology shop.
Pearl River Community College cosmetology students Crystal Smith of Poplarville, from left, and Sarah Reid of Hattiesburg give manicures to Katie Briggs and Emily Buchert, students at Pearl River Central High School.
Prentiss High School student Calvin Sands, left, and Antonio McLendon of Hattiesburg High School try laying brick in the masonry shop.
Petal High School student Christian Lunsford, second from left, experiments with a wiring diagram board in the heating and air conditioning technology shop at Pearl River Community College. With him are PRCC students Lester Higgins of Picayune, from left, Nicholas Peterson of Prentiss and Cody McMahon of Perkinston.
WAVELAND - Pearl River Community College will offer shipfitting at the Hancock Center in Waveland beginning May 20. Applications, including the $250 course fee, are due by May 15 and students who are accepted will be notifed on Friday, May 17. Tuition assistance is available through Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding through the state WIN Job Centers. Training books will be provided but students must have their own protective equipment, including number 10 welding shield, welding gloves, welding hat, leather boots (steel-toed preferred) and safety glasses. Prospective students must be 18 or older, U.S. citizens, drug-free with no criminal record, able to provide reliable transportation and have an interest in the shipbuilding/repair industry. Students must be screened for drugs at their own expense. The drug screen results will be required the first week of class. Classes will meet from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 20 through July 23 at the Hancock Center, 454 Highway 90, Waveland. Instructor will be Raymond Jarrell. Applications can be obtained by calling Gloria Wasmund at 601 403-1241, emailing email@example.com or at the Career Education Offic on Wildcat Drive in Poplarville. Applications and fees must be submitted to Pearl River Community College, Career Education Building, 101 Highway 11 North, Poplarville MS 39470 by May 15.
The 2013-2014 PRCC Cheerleading tryouts will be held in Shivers Gym April 4-6, 2013. The clinic will be April 4-5 from 5-7PM and the tryout will be April 6th from 9AM-12PM. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
POPLARVILLE - The Pearl River Community College Alumni Association will host the annual Little Black Dress Charity Luncheon on Saturday, April 13, at the president’s home. The luncheon and silent auction will benefit Alumni Association scholarships and Pathway2Hope, a non-profit organization focused on serving and supporting children and adolescents in South Mississippi. The long-term goal of Pathway2Hope is to establish an emergency shelter and group home for foster children and adolescents of South Mississippi who are not immediately placed with family when removed from home by the Department of Human Services. While working toward this goal, Pathway2Hope is seeking to partner with the community to support the children of South Mississippi through promoting excellence in home, school and the community. Tickets are $50 per person and availability is limited. Tickets can be purchased by credit card by calling 601-403-1193 or by check made payable to the PRCC Alumni Association, Box 5389, 101 Highway 11 North, Poplarville, MS 39470 with attention to the Little Black Dress. Deadline is April 5.
HATTIESBURG - Long-time Pearl River Community College math teacher Jacki Runnels and military veteran Louie Forsmark will be honored Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence events in Jackson. HEADWAE was established in 1987 by the Mississippi Legislature to recognize outstanding students and faculty in Mississippi’s colleges and universities. The honorees will be introduced to both the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Senate and recognized by name at a luncheon attended by institution leaders, corporate sponsors, and legislators. PRCC administrators selected Runnels as the faculty nominee and she chose Forsmark as the student honoree because he exemplifies the purpose of community college, she said. “Louie is a non-traditional student who was in the work place and decided he wanted to better himself,” Runnels said. “He began in our developmental studies program and has excelled. He’s an excellent example of what community college offers to people.” Forsmark, 41, has served two hitches in the U.S. Army and worked as a painter to support his two daughters, also indulging in a brief stint as an undefeated cage fighter. The economic crisis a few years ago sent him looking for a better future. With his tuition covered by the GI Bill, he enrolled at PRCC’s Forrest County Center in the fall of 2011. “Being here has really made my life worth living,” he said. “I’ve got so much more future. I know it’s a cliche but the sky’s the limit. What a great opprtunity I’ve been given.” Forsmark will receive the associate’s degree in May and hopes to be accepted into the nursing school at the University of Southern Mississippi. He received the 2012 Outstanding Student in Sociology Award at the Forrest County Center. The HEADWAE honor stunned him. “I’m very wowed by it,” he said. “I never thought I’d amount to much so this is quite an accomplishment for me. I’m starting to believe I’ve got a little bit of sense. I think if I could do it, anybody could do it. I’m no smarter than anybody else.” Runnels points to him as the personification of the community college purpose. “He’s a great representative of what community college is designed to do,” she said. Runnels has taught at PRCC since 1990, with a break when her son was born, and at the Forrest County Center since 2000. The HEADWAE honor was unexpected, she said. “I was pleasantly surprised,” Runnels said. “It’s a great honor. I’m excited to represent our college. I feel honored that the college selected me.” She holds the associate in arts degree from Hinds Community College, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mississippi College and a Master in Arts degree specifically for community college instructors from Mississippi State University. She has also completed 30 hours of post-graduate study at MSU and William Carey University. While working on her master’s degree, Runnels was a teaching assistant. After receiving her degree, she taught finite math at MSU for a year while also teaching math classes for East Mississippi Community College at Columbus Air Force Base. Runnels came to PRCC’s Poplarville campus in 1990 and began teaching two days a week at the Forrest County Center in 1997. “I was the first permanent faculty member on this campus,” she said. After time off with her baby, Runnels returned to the Forrest County Center full-time in 2000. “ At that time, we had a science teacher and a math teacher,” she said. “The other people were adjunct instructors. I began to build the mathematics program and bring stability to the program. As the campus grew, we got additional faculty and were able to add a second math teacher.” Runnels now chairs a department that includes seven full-time math instructors and is subject area coordinator for accounting, business, computer science, economics and mathematics. “Jacki has been a devoted teacher of mathematics for Pearl River Community College for several years,” said Dr. Cecil Burt, PRCC vice president for Forrest County operations. “She currently is our department chair and has just worked tirelessly in that role. She is deserving of this kind of recognition.”
Runnels and her husband, Rudy, and their 15-year-old son, Riley, live in Magee.
Pearl River Community College is proud to host the 2012-2013 MACJC Basketball Tournament. The tournament starts Monday, February 25 through Thursday, February 28 at the Shivers Gym located on the Poplarville, MS campus. The Wildcats' Men's team will play Tuesday night at 7 p.m. vs. Coahoma.
HATTIESBURG - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights icons would be disappointed in the climate of the United States of 2013, Ike Haynes said during the annual Black History Month observance at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center. Haynes, the first Aftrican-American superintendent of the Jefferson Davis County schools and a member of the PRCC Board of Trustees, was the keynote speaker for the seventh annual observance. “If you do not become well acquainted with the past, you are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past,” Haynes said. The “have and have-not” America that King decried still exists today, he said. “Today if Dr. King were alive, I venture to say he would be very disappointed in us,” Haynes said. “The civil rights movement had a lot of good white people, a lot of good black people ... who talked about how we should all get along and work together.” Haynes listed three major obstacles standing in the way of the future King envisioned - the lack of effective early childhood education, gun violence and low expectations and achievements of black males. The solution to all three problems is to raise expectations, he said. “A rising tide certainly raises all boats,” he said. PRCC student Melissa Stewart encouraged the audience to actively work against prejudice of all kinds. “The walls of prejudice are still being built,” she said. Stewart described herself as a gay white woman and recovering drug addict. “If you strip me down, I am nothing more than a human being,” she said. Labels are the materials used to build the walls of prejudice, she said. “It would be a great injustice not to continue to knock down the walls of prejudice wherever we find them,” she said. The program also include a performance by The Voices, PRCC’s a capella ensemble. The observance was sponsored by the PRCC History and Humanities Club.
Ike Haynes, superintendent of the Jefferson Davis County schools, speaks during the Pearl River Community College Black History Month observance on Feb. 25 at the Forrest County Center. PRCC Public Relations photo
Student Melissa Stewart speaks during the Pearl River Community College Black History Month observance on Feb. 25 at the Forrest County Center. PRCC Public Relations photo
The Voices ensemble sings during the Black History Month observance Feb. 25 at the PRCC Forrest County Center. PRCC Public Relations photo