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MPSD receives Governor's Award for partnership with MSU-Meridian and MSU Riley Center

Staff from MPSD, MSU-Meridian and the MSU Riley Center at the Governor’s Awards on Thursday, March 5, 2020.

Staff from MPSD, MSU-Meridian and the MSU Riley Center at the Governor’s Awards on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Pictured from left are Jackie McFarland, assistant principal Oakland Heights Elementary; Dana Bell, principal Crestwood Elementary; Clair Huff, MPSD district arts coordinator; Lavonda Germany, MPSD director of elementary curriculum and instruction; Amy Carter, MPSD superintendent; Jeff Leffler, assistant professor at MSU-Meridian and liaison with Kennedy Center for Any Given Child; Penny Wallin, associate professor of education leadership at MSU-Meridian; Kimberly Hall, professor and head of Division of Education at MSU-Meridian; Tiffany McGehee, outreach director for the MSU Riley Center, and Dan Barnard, executive director of the MSU Riley Center.



Meridian, MS- March 26, 2020 The Meridian Public School District, MSU-Meridian and the MSU Riley Center received the 2020 Governor’s Award on Thursday, March 5, for their innovative partnership to integrate the arts district-wide through Any Given Child.

The 18th Annual Governor’s Awards honored Top School-Community Partnerships during Mississippi Vision for Education Partnership Conference of the Mississippi Association in Partners In Education (MAPE) and Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools (PREPS) at the Lakeview Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, MS.

“The 2020 Governor’s Award winners exemplify the many creative ways that schools and communities across Mississippi are working together to improve student outcomes,” said Dr. Leslie Griffin, MAPE president. “When we talk about improving school performance in Mississippi, partnerships should always be an important part of the conversation — and the Governor’s Awards recognition illustrates this point.”

The Any Given Child Meridian partnership is in Year 4 and the Meridian Public School District is seeking to provide access and equity through arts integration and arts education for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th-grade.  

“Any Given Child and the opportunities and experiences afforded the students of MPSD would not exist without the initial vision and continued leadership of MSU-Meridian and the MSU Riley Center,” stated Clair Huff, MPSD Arts Coordinator. 

For more information about Any Given Child Meridian 2019 impacts and outcomes, please go to the 2019 Status Report on the website at

About Meridian Public School District: The Meridian Public School District prepares all students in a parent and community partnership to be literate, self-directed learners with the confidence and character to compete in a complex and ever-changing world. MPSD serves 5,200 students on 13 school campuses. For more information, please visit us on the web at