Stone County starts strong, stays strategic.
Proven preparation followed by high-performance higher ed options here and nearby.
K-12: Solid starts for happily-ever-after’s.
Once upon a time, one of the nation’s most famous children’s authors (a woman who was also an internationally respected philanthropist) lived in Stone County on 80 acres that she and her sister named Friendship Farm. Author and philanthropist Emilie Stapp and her sister Marie have faded into history, but their legacy lives on in the area’s love of stories—oral, visual and written—and in the Stone County Library, first opened in 1925 with the more than 4,000 books donated by the Stapp sisters.
And today the children of Stone County enjoy futures that are happily ever after because of the 21st century preparation of progressive schools, where accountability and performance are no fairy tales; instead excellence is in evidence every day and every year, as Stone’s four public schools (two elementary schools, a middle and a high school) have earned either successful or exemplary in performance classifications, while high school graduation rates and ACT scores have exceeded the state average.
Ignite. Inspire. Instill.
To IGNITE within every student a passion for learning, to INSPIRE the pursuit of excellence, and to INSTILL the desire to lead a productive, purposeful life. That’s the Stone County school system’s stated mission, and fulfilling that mission has necessitated a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning, with an emphasis on teacher quality, low student/teacher ratios (15/1), and a strategic mix of academics and extracurricular activities. In the home of the legendary Baseball Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean, athletics naturally take pride of place on the field—baseball, football, basketball, soccer, softball and golf—but the arts are also given emphasis. State marching band champs, Stone County High School bands have wowed the crowds at both the Macy’s Day and Washington, D.C. inaugural parades.
The Stone County School District believes in every child getting ahead, achieving the critical goal of college and/or career preparedness by high school graduation through carefully designed pathways that blend academic and technical options for student success.
Higher Education: Options that broaden opportunity.
Lifelong learning (and the improved earnings that brings) are readily available to Stone County residents with three respected institutions of higher learning within a 40-minute drive.
Higher Education: Here at home and just minutes away.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College: Like its' home of Stone County, MGCCC in Perkinston offers an ideal balance of options—top-flight career and technical training for immediate and rewarding employment or an excellent academics for a two-year degree that can be transferred to a four-year college. The only community college in the tri-state area to be named to the nation’s list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers, MGCCC is the nation’s first community college to host a sitting president as graduation speaker (George W. Bush in 2004). Apollo 13 astronaut and engineer Fred Haise is an MGCCC alumnus, and today the college helps students achieve liftoff with a wide range of technical, academic and healthcare programs. While MGCCC is the area’s workforce training partner, providing customized training for industry needs, honing employees skills to spec, MGCCC’s Lifelong Learning Institute helps residents 50+ stay sharp and fit for life.
University of Southern Mississippi: Less than 40 miles away, USM is a public research university (classified by the Carnegie Foundation as Very High Research university) offering more than 189 programs leading to baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctorate degrees. USM’s academic programs are considered some of the nation’s best across varied fields: USM is particularly strong in the sciences, considered the premiere research institute of the Gulf South, with the School of Polymer Science ranked in the nation’s top 10 by U.S. News and World Report. USM is also one of only 34 universities in the nation to be accredited in all four areas of the arts; USM’s Center for Writers has been lauded as a top creative writing program by the New York Times Book Review. The School of Communications has earned similar plaudits from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The University’s Division I-A athletic programs are also well-supported, and Golden Eagle games well attended, even as the school sponsors more than 300 cultural events annually.
William Carey University: This private Christian liberal arts university offers baccalaureate degrees in more than a half dozen general areas, including arts and letters, business, education, music, natural and behavioral sciences, nursing and religion. WCU also offers an M.B.A., and M.Ed. , an M.S. in several fields, a Ph.D. in education administration. In 2014, the first class of the College of Osteopathic Medicine graduated 108 students. The College is the second medical school in the state and Mississippi’s first for Osteopathic Medicine.
QUALITY OF LIFE
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