By Chris Kieffer
TUPELO – Staci Bevill watched her parents get involved with her schools when she was a child and decided to follow their example.
The third-generation Mooreville Schools graduate began volunteering when her eldest daughter began kindergarten in Mooreville and has continued her efforts through Tanner’s senior year. That work was rewarded on Tuesday night when she was named the Lee County School District’s 2015 Parent of the Year.
Bevill was recognized during the Lee County School District’s regular school board meeting at its central office. She now will represent the district in the competition for state Parent of the Year honors.
“I do it because my mother led by example,” she said. “I believe this is in my blood.”
Bevill and her husband, Bart, have two children in Mooreville Schools, Tanner and Blake, a kindergartner.
She has been particularly active in ExPECT, a nonprofit that supports the district by raising money and funding teacher grants for classroom needs. Her mother, Brenda Shumpert, was among the founding members in the 1980s, and Bevill has been on the board for about 10 years, including about four as president.
“Staci has always been up front and ready to step up and do anything,” said current ExPECT President Angel Wiginton. “If anyone has needed anything, she is always the first person to come forward and help.”
She also has been an active volunteer in her daughters’ schools. A new Mooreville Elementary was constructed in 2003 when Tanner entered first grade, and Bevill began serving on a committee to help the new school meet several of its needs – such as a playground, an awning for the front and many teacher requests. The group created the annual Spring Fling and Fall Festival fundraisers.
“This award to me represents 12 years of parents, teachers and administrators just volunteering when I’ve asked them to help,” Bevill said. “People in the whole school system, from central office to the lunch ladies deserve this award each day.”
Bevill has been active with the parent teacher organization and has helped organize Mooreville High’s junior/senior prom. She and her husband have supported the Mooreville softball team, including assisting with the renovation of its field.
“If we have something at school, you can call on her and she will be there,” said Mooreville High Principal Lee Bruce. “Through her work with ExPECT, she has helped not only Mooreville students, but students from all of Lee County.”
PARENTS OF THE YEAR
The Lee County School District also recognized the Parent of the Year winners at each of its individual schools. Those included Mande Miller (Guntown), Belinda Wilson (Mooreville Elementary), Gregg Ott (Mooreville Middle), Staci Bevill (Mooreville High), Brandi Traylor (Plantersville), Melissa Cockrell (Saltillo Elementary), Connie Bond (Saltillo High), Dana Lewis (Saltillo Primary), Melinda Berryhill (Shannon Elementary), Suzanne Lindsey (Shannon Middle), Rachel Sisk (Shannon High), Katie Foster (Shannon Primary) and Marcus Jernigan (Verona).