Piney Woods School Enters into Contractual Agreement with Solar Alternatives

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, before the entire faculty, staff, and surrounded by the students, President Will Crossley signed a contractual agreement with Solar Alternatives, Inc.

Solar Alternatives is a privately held solar engineering, procurement, and construction company headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana with locations in Mississippi and Texas. Solar Alternatives has been designing and installing solar systems throughout the Gulf South since 2008.

The staff of electrical engineers, project managers, and procurement experts work on the leading edge of implementing state of the art energy strategies utilizing the latest in technology and equipment.

With the signing of the contract, SA will begin the construction of The Piney Woods School’s solar field. The solar field offers an opportunity for the students to learn about cutting edge technology and it begins the process of erasing Piney Woods’ carbon footprint.

Give From Your Heart Concert and Family FunDay

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

The Piney Woods School is hosting its fifth annual “Give from Your Heart” Gospel Festival which takes place Saturday, May 4, 2019 @11 AM to 6 PM on the campus of the historic Piney Woods Mississippi co-ed boarding school.  “This is a great way to raise money for the school while also allowing the public to get a glimpse of what we do here,” says Piney Woods School President, Dr. Will Crossley. 

A variety of food vendors will be on hand to feed the hungry crowd and there will be recreational activities for the youth. The all-day concert will feature the Grammy® nominated artists Brian Courtney Wilson and Anthony Brown & group therAPy. Also performing will be Jor’dan Armstrong, Fred Jerkins & Last Call, Tim Bowman Jr., Jermaine Dolly, as well as Jackson’s very own Four Washington, a dynamic urban inspirational group of teenage siblings.

The Piney Woods School choir, the Cotton Blossom Singers, will be on hand as well. Ticket prices are $15 and a family pack of 4 tickets are $50.  Children 15 years old and younger attend for free.  All tickets are available from or by calling (601) 845-2214.

The 100+ year old institution boasts an international student population with pupils hailing from over seventeen states and foreign jurisdictions. Piney Woods offers a rigorous educational, spiritual and vocational curriculum and provides an environment where students are expected to excel academically and socially. Over 95% of the graduating seniors are admitted to colleges and universities.

Give From Your Heart Appeal

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

Thank you for being a part of The Piney Woods School's 5th Annual Give From Your Heart Campaign!

The work we do at The Piney Woods is powered by two things: incredible young scholars with a burning desire to learn and succeed and the sustaining generosity from the hearts of our donors.

You have responded generously in the past. This year, we are making a special appeal to you to Give From Your Heart to support scholarships for young scholars in honor of a loved one. Your gift helps us provide a scholarship for a student who would otherwise have no means of paying for our unique, innovative, high quality, college preparatory boarding school. We are building leaders through teaching the head, heart, and hands of each young person who enters these gates. The need has never been greater.

Give from your heart, change the life of a young PWS scholar, and help us change the world, one student at a time!

Go to to give.

Piney Woods Students Attend Mission Mississippi Summit

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

Several students from The Piney Woods School had the distinct honor of being selected to attend the Mission Mississippi summit in Jackson, Mississippi. The summit began with a reception on the evening of April 3rd at the Governor’s mansion.

The summit, which occurs once a year, serves as a time when officials (elected and appointed) from across the state convene on the city of Jackson for the Governor’s Prayer Summit, hosted by Mission Mississippi, in an attempt to bridge the racial divide in the state.

“We have the summit to teach people to have conversations that are difficult,” said Neddie Winters, president of Mission Mississippi.

The summit focused on topics that are often disagreed upon.

“Race in Mississippi has inserted itself in every relationship and through conversation in many ways,” said Dan Hall, Mission Mississippi board member.

Participants are asked to actively listen and have conversations on difficult topics to get multiple points of view and, ultimately, to set an example for those they lead.

“Even if we walk away not agreeing, we walk away understanding,” Hall said. “We are trying to build bridges, not walls.”

Class of 2020 Visits the University of Mississippi

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

On Thursday, March 28, 2019, the junior class from The Piney Woods School traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, to visit the University of Mississippi.

The students were treated to a fabulous campus tour, led by the admissions staff, and were allowed to meet and ask questions of the Black Student Union. This organization was incorporated as a registered organization on the campus on March 25, 1969.

When the PWS juniors visited, the BSU had just celebrated their 50th year anniversary.

Founded in 1848, Ole Miss holds the banner as the state’s largest university. It is also considered one of the fastest growing institutions in the country.

When it chartered the University of Mississippi on February 24, 1844, the Mississippi Legislature laid the foundation for public higher education in the state. The university opened its doors to 80 students four years later, and for 23 years was Mississippi's only public institution of higher learning. For 110 years, it was the state's only comprehensive university.

Total enrollment on all University of Mississippi campuses, including the UM Medical Center, was 23,136 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Nearly 60 percent of the student body is from Mississippi, and 22.9 percent of students are minorities. The school offers Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees.

Archery Comes to Piney Woods

Christopher Windfield | Uncategorized

Piney Woods has given birth to its first all-black outstanding archery team. February 12th marked the students’ first game, a contest against St. Joseph.

With nerves and arrows quivering, the two teams eventually made it through the 10 and 15-meter rounds. The Piney Woods team competed with gusto and put up quite a fight in their first match of the season.

Since the beginning of the season, the team has squared off against Lawrence County and in the Enterprise County Tournament.

With one final tournament looming at the end of the month, the team has continued to practice diligently.

Teamster Union Sponsors Make Annual Visit – Slywenda Geeston

Christopher Windfield | Uncategorized

On an academic Saturday, The Piney Woods school had the absolute pleasure of being visited by our annual teamster union sponsors. These dedicated persons provided career and life skills

advice to our male and female students, and they each gave out personal details and descriptions under the efforts of their union positions.

We at The Piney Woods school, specifically Slywenda Geeston, Aliana Parker, and Akia Terry, were allowed to present a summary of what was discussed during the afternoon session.

Overall, The Piney Woods School greatly appreciates our Teamsters sponsors, for they have given us so much heart by the work of their head and hands.

Staff Spotlight: Jordon Hillhouse, English Teacher

Christopher Windfield | Uncategorized

Mr. Jordan Hillhouse is originally from Terry, Mississippi. He attended Mississippi College in Clinton, MS, for his undergraduate studies and earned his master’s degree at Alcorn State University.

Teaching isn’t just a job for Mr. Hillhouse, it’s a passion to help others learn. He stepped into teaching after being dissatisfied with his last job. Despite it being a great job, Mr. Hillhouse didn’t feel as if he was helping anyone. He doesn’t have to worry about that now because in teaching, you get to see the fruits of your labor displayed in the students’ understanding of the content.

Alaina Parker – Piney Woods School Senior

Christopher Windfield | Uncategorized

Alaina Parker is a senior at The Piney Woods School. With needle and thread in hand, she can knit anything she chooses. With her goals set on an upstate culinary arts school in either New York or Rhode Island, she is definitely going places.

Originally, from San Antonio, Texas, Alaina has attended Piney Woods all four years of high school. She plans to open her own business in the future. She is a member of the Legacies of Grace, Cotton Blossom Singers, and archery team. With a well-rounded schedule, Alaina has thrived in her time at PWS.

Alumni Spotlight – Maya Riddles

Christopher Windfield | Uncategorized

Ms. Maya Riddle is currently enrolled at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, where she was named Miss Homecoming 2018-2019. She graduated from The Piney Woods School in 2016. She attended PWS throughout her high school career. She is a health studies major, with plans to apply and enroll in a direct Master’s in Nursing program.

After her first year, she’ll be a registered RN; and after her second year, she’ll be working as a Nurse Practitioner in whatever field she selects. Ultimately, Ms. Riddle plans to become a nurse; however, currently, she wants to start out in the public policy and public health sector.

Adjusting from Piney Woods to Berea was easy because Ms. Riddle was accustomed to being away from home and living in a dormitory. Academically, it was a bit more challenging to adjust because she underestimated the challenge of Berea’s academics. She struggled her first semester, but the second semester she was able to “jump on the train and kept rolling.”

Ms. Riddle is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Her journey has taken her from Atlanta to Piney Woods to Kentucky. She hasn’t stopped to look back. She had her heart set on attending Baylor in Texas, but she wasn’t accepted into the school. Understandably, she was sad about not getting into the school of her choice. Dr. Crossley actually caught her crying outside. At that time, she informed him that she wasn’t going to school anymore. The next day, Ms. Riddle went to Dr. Crossley’s office, where he and Ms. Sheria Smith sat her down and told her that she was going to go to school.

Ms. Smith actually encouraged her to apply to Berea, basically telling her that she would be challenged intellectually. Berea not only accepted her--they offered her a full scholarship!

Ms. Riddle’s fondest Piney Woods memory was meeting the 44th President of the United States of America. The choir went to Washington D.C,. and she was able greet President Obama. Her second memory is of the very first Give From Your Heart Concert.

Ms. Riddle's motto is: "Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one who finds the gold.” (Proverbs 11:27) Advice to the PWS Class of 2019: "You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)