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Prentiss Christian School celebrates 50 years

Prentiss Christian School reached a milestone last week, as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their charter on Wednesday.

On Jan. 22, 1970, the school was chartered by the State of Mississippi. Land for the school was purchased on June 17 of that year, and was cleared a week later.

The foundation of the building was poured on June 30, and parents, teachers, students and interested friends took part in the first  work day with painting and cleaning on Sept. 5.

In less than two weeks after that, the first day of classes were held on Sept. 14

The first headmaster and school accreditor was Dr. James E. Baxter.

Initial school board members were Dr. F.W. Tripp, president, Arthur Pigott, vice-president, Guy Magee, secretary-treasurer, Milton Terrell, Truett Griffith, James Daniel, Terry Brinson, Howard Lane and John Allen.

The school started with first through ninth grades and had a total of 180 students on the first day of classes.

The 50 year celebration began with a prayer by PCS student body president Culley Cochran, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by student body vice-president Colton Jones.

Current headmaster Danny Quick gave a welcome and received a proclamation from Prentiss Mayor Charley Dumas on behalf of the board of aldermen.

“This is my 21st year here and in those years I have seen many changes, but there are three things that haven’t changed,” said headmaster Danny Quick.

“One is the students. They still have the same hopes,  dreams and prayers. The second is that Prentiss Christian School has proven historically that our graduates are prepared for what comes next. Whether it is military, college, or work, whatever it is, they are ready.”

“The third thing is that 50 years ago, the founding fathers penned a mission statement for this school: Prentiss Christian School strives to provide each student with a traditional education supported by the teaching of Christian  principles and values.

“That is what they wrote, and  that is what we still have in our handbook, our classrooms and our hearts today. It has served Prentiss Christian for 50 years and we are looking for it to serve for 50 more.”

Former students and faculty were recognized before Dr. F. W. Tripp was called to the podium.

“Approximately a year before this school started, a meeting was held at The Jeffersonian after concerns arose about the Federal Government taking over all public schools,” said Tripp.

“One of the mandates was that there would be no Christian education, no Bible taught, no prayer, basically no mention of Jesus Christ at all in schools. We felt like something needed to be done.”

A private loan was secured and the school was built for $30,000.

“We had a tradition that began back then of having an outstanding group of students and teachers, a tradition that has continued through the years with the boards, administrators, faculty and students.”

“I thank God for Prentiss Christian School and I am very grateful for having a part in getting it started.”

Other speakers for the celebration were Arthur Pigott and James Russell Dumas Jr.

The school plans on having a year-long celebration with several events and activities to be announced at a later date.

Those present sang Happy Birthday to the school before enjoying cake, punch and much reminiscing.