QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Quitman High School has plenty of reason to celebrate right now. The school has won the Governor’s Award of Distinction, an award that has only been given out four times in the past 16 years, and the People’s Choice awards. Both of these awards were given out by the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education.
“Any award that we win represents the whole Panther Nation, and Quitman High School, and it represents the whole school district,” says Dr. Howard Savage, Jr., principal of Quitman High. “What we want to do is make sure that we’re focusing on academics and making sure we’re giving our kids an opportunity to excel in college and career readiness. It means a whole lot to our school, and our staff and our students.”
The school has been implementing plans to become more successful, leading to the school improving to a ‘B’ rating last year.
“What we did collectively is we came up with strategies and things of that nature. And I’m very proud we actually talked to our students and parents about what we’re weak at and what we need to do to make it better and had a plan going forward to try to be one of the best schools in the state,” Dr. Savage explains.
Savage says that there is still a lot of work to be done so the school can improve even more. Some areas of focus include college and career readiness among others.
“We’re also doing different boot camps with [the] ACT because our ACT score was a 17, which is kind of low; we want to get that anywhere between 19 and 20 this year. We’re also doing after-school tutoring,” Savage said.
Dr. Savage also received the Mississippi Administrator of the Year award from the Mississippi Association of Educators.
“It meant a lot to me. It meant a lot for me to represent our school district and to represent Quitman High School, Panther Nation, on that award,” Dr. Savage says. “And I do want to say at the end of the day, all awards are team awards. There’s no ‘I’ in team. And I could have never won that award and our school would’ve never won the Governor’s Award if we didn’t work together as a team and have the same mission.”
Jones County Junior College, William Carey University, and the city of Quitman businesses also received the Governor's Award.