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JPS to Receive Top Honors at MAPE’s 2023 Governor’s Awards

February 28, 2023

JPS is proud to receive recognition for its outstanding achievements with community partners at the District, elementary, middle, and high school levels. The Mississippi Association of Partners in Education (MAPE) recently announced the 2023 Awards for Mississippi's top school-community partnerships. Several JPS partnerships will be among those recognized during its 21st Governor’s Awards Celebration on Tuesday, March 7 from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many contributions of our community partners,” said Thea Faulkner, director of JPS Partners In Education. “Jackson Public Schools is sincerely grateful to have numerous organizations and individuals who provide significant contributions of time, expertise, and resources to support our scholars, families, and team members. As they engage with us, our volunteers provide an example to our scholars of the value of service to enhance the quality of life within communities.”

The Governor’s Award selection committee, composed of representatives from businesses, industries, nonprofits, and education, judges each entry using a uniform set of criteria to measure the overall effectiveness of partnership activities. Spann Elementary School was the only school in Mississippi to receive the Governor’s Award of Distinction. Principal Lori Torrey says, “Spann Elementary’s valuable adopters and partners have set their course to provide children the tools to believe in themselves and have the ability to succeed. Today, we have hundreds of students who’ve been impacted by their participation through museum learning activities and literacy experiences that have taught students how to analyze, evaluate, and investigate the world in which they live. These times of partnership will last a lifetime as they’re sown into the hearts and lives of children in need.”

The JPS school-community partnerships receiving awards are as follows:

District & Community-Wide Governor's Award

MagCor Jackson Public Schools

The 2022-2023 school year began under a citywide boil water notice that caught the attention of the nation. Financial donations and large volumes of bottled water poured into the District to ensure scholars and employees had this invaluable resource.

Partners in Education coordinated efforts to manage incoming inventory of water and deliveries to our 52 school sites, as well as various administrative offices and Child Nutrition.

Lead Partners:

  • World Central Kitchen
  • Disaster Relief by Amazon
  • Atmos Energy
  • Primo Water
  • MagCorp
  • I’m A Star Foundation
  • Jacksonville Public Schools
  • CityHeart Church
  • Environmental Management Plus, Inc.
  • First Presbyterian Church


2023 Governor's Award of Distinction – Spann Elementary

Spann Elementary Raising Canes

Spann Elementary School partnered with the Mississippi Children’s Museum, Raising Cane’s #30, Rotary Club, and Northminster Church to provide original, creative, multi-directional plans to impact literacy amongst students. Today, hundreds of students have been impacted by their participation through museum learning activities and literacy experiences that have taught students how to analyze, evaluate, and investigate the world in which they live.


Middle School Partnership Excellence Awards – Blackburn Middle

Blackburn Middle School

Blackburn Middle School partnered with Jackson State University's Department of Community Engagement, Dr. Heather Denne’ and Khaliya Ervin of JSU, and Murphy Greer of Blackburn to create, develop and maintain a community garden, culminating with the Annual Greens Cook-off. After planting greens and other vegetables, teams of scholars and community volunteers worked in the school's learning garden regularly to water the seeds and weed plants. Once harvested, scholars and community volunteers participated in the annual Greens Cook-Off to determine which team produced the best-tasting greens. Additionally, in the spring, a scholar-led farmer’s market is held, offering a variety of vegetables for sale.  This provides an invaluable lesson in entrepreneurship. One hundred percent (100%) of all proceeds are divided among participating scholars. This is an amazing demonstration of the opportunities available with this farm-to-table concept.  


High School Governor’s Awards – Lanier High

Lanier High School

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lanier High School and the Lanier High School Alumni Association worked together to continue its stellar support of scholars and their families. Partnerships were cultivated to provide vital support within the community, emphasizing mental health and nutritional support, including a food pantry distribution. In-kind and financial donations were provided for these services, in addition to a $13,000 contribution towards the school’s annual budget. The school and the Alumni Association work together to determine which projects will be supported with these funds. Partners include the University of Mississippi’s Medical Center School of Nursing, Children's of Mississippi Community Outreach Program, MS State Dept. of Health Dentistry Program, Farish Street Community of Shalom, U Sew Nice, Stanley Weakley and Associates, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, Lanier High School Health Clinic, Footprint Farms, and United Healthcare.