Two Piney Woods Students place in the 2019 Scholastic Writing Contest

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

The Piney Woods School had two students to win in 2019 Mississippi Scholastic Writing Contest. Moiya Gooden won a golden key in the short story category with “The Time Between Us,” while Alaina Parker claimed a silver key for her entry, “Transition,” in the Poetry category.

The Eudora Welty Foundation serves as Mississippi's affiliate for the Scholastic Writing Awards in partnership with the Eudora Welty House and Garden, a museum of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The Foundation administers the competition with support from the Eudora Welty House and Garden.

Sponsoring the Scholastic Writing Awards fulfills the educational missions of the Eudora Welty Foundation and the Eudora Welty House and Garden by honoring Welty's wish that her home be used to inspire the creative endeavors of others, especially young and aspiring writers.

The students were presented with their awards during a ceremony on April 14th.

Piney Woods Stands Out During Track Season

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

The student-athletes of The Piney Woods school had an excellent showing during the Region 4-1A track meet, on both the boys’ and the girls’ side.

Kudaisa Carter took fourth with a time of 13.74 in the 100-meter dash and second in the 200 with a time of 28.47.  In the 4x100 meter relay the Piney Woods young ladies took third with a time of 54.64, and a time of 2:01:00 secured the team a second-place finish.

On the boys’ side of things, Nathan Lubamba recorded a time of 5:13.17 in the 1600-meter run, clinching the second-place, silver medal. In the 4X400 meter relay, PWS finished just shy of the podium, with a time of 3:58:71, for fourth place. Ahkia Terry’s 5-04.00 jump landed him a fifth-place finish in the high jump; however, he was far from done. In the long jump, Terry leaped into first place with a distance of 20-04.00. Landyn Smith’s best recorded throw was for a distance of 71-11, which garnered him an eighth-place finish.

At South State, Nathan Lumbama finished in fifth in the 1600-meter run, with a time of 5:13.17. Ahkia Terry took first in the long jump with a distance of 20-07.25, qualifying for the State Meet.

During the State Meet, Terry recorded a jump of 19-03.50. With this jump, Terry recorded fourth place.

It was a phenomenal season for the young Piney Woods teams.

Are You Interested in Learning More About PWS?

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

Prospective students and parents should attend our next Open House. It is slated for Friday, August 16, 2019, at 9 a.m.  Come check out The Piney Woods School and learn about the awesome things going on here. There will be several topics being discussed over the course of the morning.

Each attendant will be briefed on the history of The Piney Woods School, which includes the legacy of Dr. Laurence C. Jones and the mission of PWS. Your child(ren) will learn how to apply to become a student with an in-depth explanation of the application process.

A campus tour is also on the agenda. This is a time for the students and parents to familiarize themselves with the layout of the campus and buildings. Tuition and financial aid information is provided during the open house. A professional from finance will be available to explain the procedures and policies in detail. Learn how residential life affects the students. This workshop provides the inner workings of residential life for students. In addition, the students will learn the traditions and responsibilities of student life. Join us for the next Open House at The Piney Woods School.

Give From Your Heart Gospel Concert and Piney Woods Day

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

There is a saying that you can plan the perfect parade, but you can’t predict the weather. That couldn’t have been truer for the Give From Your Heart Concert and Piney Woods Day. The rain may have been falling in sheets, but the mood inside the Zilpha E. Chandler Auditorium was festive and spirit filled.

The Piney Woods’ own Cotton Blossom Singers started the spectacular performances. Local musical group Four Washington ushered in the spirit with a couple of selections. Tim Bowman, Jr., provided a rousing and soul stirring performance, prompting those in attendance to jump to their feet. He wasn’t alone. Anthony Brown and Group therAPy took the stage, performing some of their older songs before wrapping up with their newest track.

Jermaine Dolly’s performance was one that provided a handclapping, head swinging great feeling. Taking a break from the music, the crowd was treated to a hilarious act by Small Fry. This woman had the audience roaring with laughter.

Musical group Last Call, natives of Bermuda, traveled a very long way to wow the Piney Woods family and friends. Jor’Dan Armstrong set the microphone on fire with his magnetic flow. Miz Tiffany followed with a strong flow and an even stronger personal testimony. She was once a secular performer but after a terrible accident that could have taken her life, she gave her life to God.

From Augusta, Georgia, J4:Twenty3 added their talent to the GFYH lineup. With melodious voices ringing out, the praise was real. The final performance of the night was Brian Courtney Wilson. It was the perfect close to a phenomenal day.

The children were entertained and able to get face paintings completed as well as engage in different games set in a game room. Food vendors were also available for the public.

From Students to Alums, the Class of 2019 has Graduated

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

Graduation is an opportunity for the family, friends, faculty, and staff to celebrate the accomplishments of each of the graduates. The 2019 graduates of The Piney Woods School have been inducted into the International Alumni Association and have taken the first step into their destinies.

“Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar rang through the Memorial Rock Garden on the morning of May 25th as the graduates, in their regalia, smiled brightly and marched with their sights on the stage.

Steven Edwards led the Pledge of Allegiance, prior to the “Star-Spangled Banner” being played. Cameron Tart recited the scripture, and Geronimo Warner brought forth the invocation. The greeting of the guests was performed by Salutatorian Dagmawit Gebrekidan.

Board of Directors Chairman Maurice Jenkins delivered the statement on behalf of the board. The Cotton Blossom Singers performed two selections: “Total Praise” and “Amen.” Valedictorian Caribbean Adams’ farewell was one for the books. Caribbean was always a quiet student on campus; therefore, witnessing the power of her voice was a stunning moment.

The senior class performed their class song, “Thank You, Next” by Ariana Grande, under the direction of Dr. Lindy McLeod. Nia Ojo tackled the task of introducing Clifton L. Taulbert, the speaker of the day.

Clifton Taulbert grew up in the Mississippi Delta, gazing upon cotton fields, never imagining being a special guest of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Taulbert took to the podium at the Library of Congress and addressed members of the Supreme Court and their invited guests.

It was his lessons in life that he shared with the attentive graduates. It didn’t take him long to deliver a message that will resonate with the students for years to come.

The presentation of the Graduating Class was done by Mrs. Monica Crossley, Dean of Faculty, and Dr. Willie Levi Crossley, President, awarded the diplomas and certificates. After remarks and special presentations, the Alma Mater was performed, and Minister Marc Fomby closed with the benediction.

During the recessional, the Class of 2019 had one more surprise--a balloon release.

Michael B. Moody, Class of 1999, delivers a Word to Graduates

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

The 2019 graduating class was treated to a phenomenal word from Pastor Michael B. Moody, a 1999 graduate of The Piney Woods School. Pastor Moody is a first-generation preacher and the head of Word In Season Ministries Dublin.

The program that flowed seamlessly, and the graduates glowed with excitement during the processional and while sitting in their designated seats. Cheyenne Hill was tasked with the job of welcoming everyone to the program after Minister Marc Fomby – Dean of Chapel for The Piney Woods School – delivered the invocation.

Tyler Green and Ardejah Jackson performed a soul stirring dance to Donald Lawrence’s “Encourage Yourself.” The kente’ Cloth custom was explained by Lydia Weldehawariat, Samaya Jackson, Kirubel Zebene, Ahkia Terry, Kamryn Tribble, and Jeremiah Morris-Horace. With the brilliant colors of the kente’ cloth explained in detail, each member of the audience gained a better understanding of the kente’ tradition at Piney Woods.

A program at PWS isn’t complete without the melodious voices of The Cotton Blossom Singers. Dr. Lindy McLeod and company stepped up with “Every Praise” by Hezekiah Walker and “My Life is In Your Hands” by Kirk Franklin.

Tyler Green returned to the stage to introduce the speaker of the evening, Pastor Moody. After a rousing and encouraging word, each senior, their family, and friends were called to the stage individually to receive a prayer of blessing.

The recessional led to the place it all began, the founding site. During the benediction, President Crossley and Pastor Moody remarked on the importance of the Piney Woods legacy and its humble beginnings. Despite being in a cemetery, the mood was far from somber.

At the dismissal, the students filed out to prepare for their big morning, commencement.

Class of 1999 Kicks Off 20th Reunion at The Piney Woods School

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, members of the Class of 1999, returned to The Piney Woods School, to make several special presentations to select members of the Class of 2019.

Robert Patrick, Institutional Advancement Officer, introduced Jeanette Owusu to the senior class. Ms. Owusu who spearheaded the scholarship fundraiser that benefited select members of the senior class. 

The valedictorian, salutatorian, and five randomly selected members of the Class of 2019 were presented with gifts. The valedictorian and salutatorian each received a Microsoft Surface Pro courtesy of Microsoft, while the five remaining class members received $1,000 scholarships to the colleges they will attend in the fall.  

Each of the recipients were elated and shocked beyond their wildest expectations. In closing, each of the class of 1999 representatives gave words of encouragement and wisdom. They reflected on their time at Piney Woods and how the school shaped them into the productive, successful people they are. 

Each representative reminded members of the senior class to remember this day and to pay it forward when their time came.  All and all, lives were changed that day.  It was a great way to launch their 20th class anniversary!

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Zakiya Leggett, Class of 1995

La'Monica Scott | Uncategorized

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she earned a B.S from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL. After completing a master's degree at Duke University, she earned a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

Zakiya attended Piney Woods from 1992-1995.  Zakiya learned about Piney Woods from her mother. Her mother was looking for a boarding school for one of her cousins to attend.  Impressed by Piney Woods’s history and programs, Zakiya’s mother enrolled her in summer camp.  Despite early reservations, Zakiya attended summer camp. Based on her enjoyable experiences at summer camp, she decided to attend the school.  

Piney Woods has changed Zakiya’s life in so many ways. She thrived in the nurturing and loving environment at Piney Woods. At Piney Woods, she learned how to celebrate other people’s successes as well as her own.  That life lesson has made a difference for her.

In addition, Zakiya learned about the power of discipline and consistency. It was frustrating at the time to have to operate in such a structured environment where it seemed like there were a LOT of rules and restrictions. However, those 3 years of discipline and consistency have been monumental in her adult life.

Now, Zakiya is a professor at North Carolina State University in the College of Natural Resources. In addition to these duties, she has a lab of six graduate students and conducts research related to forest and soil ecology. Her research has focused primarily on enhancing the productivity and sustainability of loblolly pine, one of the most common species planted in the southeastern US.  Her work continues to help ensure that plantations are managed without compromising the long-term viability of the land.

Zakiya shares her expertise as a mentor in various career development programs designed to increase the number of minority and female students in the field of ecology. As an invited speaker at schools, national conferences and universities, she shares her passion for environmental education and stewardship. Zakiya is committed to encouraging diverse student populations—whether at the primary and secondary or graduate level—to pursue their educational goals.