The Stone County School District has received some great news.

The 2019 Mississippi Department of Education Accreditation Report moved the district from a B ranking to an A.

In addition, the district was informed it is tied with Long Beach for the 13th best district out of 145 statewide.

In the state, only 31 districts received the A designation.

Superintendent Inita Owen said it took the entire community to make the improvement.

“It’s definitely been a community effort,” she said. “It has taken the school board, the administration, faculty, students and parents all making a concerted effort.

“We’ve got really good people who have bought into our vision.”

She said the recognition had been a long time coming.

“I’ve always thought we were an A district, even back when I was at Perkinston Elementary,” she said. “We just never lived up to our potential.”

Stone County Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Betsy Rowell was excited to get the news.

“This is exceptional,” she said. “When we have prospects, there are three questions that are absolutely a given. Those questions include, what is your health care situation, what is your educational system like and what kind of recreational opportunities do you have to offer.”

Rowell said those interested in investing in a locale were not just bringing a business to a corner, but were bringing families.

“They want the best they can get in healthcare, education and recreation,” she said.

She said the Stone County School District was already on top of its game when it came to career and technical education, using the nationally-recognized Stone High School Culinary Arts program as an example.

“This latest news just makes educational opportunity in Stone County that much more attractive,” she said.

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