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This profile was last updated on 7/3/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Pauline J. Rhodes

Wrong Pauline J. Rhodes?


Coahoma County School District

Employment History

  • Superintendent
    Coahoma County Schools
  • Principal
    Coahoma County Schools
  • Superintendent
    Coahoma County School District - Friars Point Elementary School

Board Memberships and Affiliations

14 Total References
Web References
"Experienced teachers who don't live here ..., 3 July 2013 [cached]
"Experienced teachers who don't live here say they have very little reason to come," said Pauline Rhodes, the superintendent of Coahoma County School District, which encompasses Friars Point Elementary, a school of about 150 students (down from 200 two years ago) and the town's only elementary school.
"It seems like the quality of the teaching staff is not getting better," said Rhodes.
Until a few years ago, the Coahoma County district was able to employ teachers who weren't fully licensed, but excelled in the classroom nonetheless, Rhodes said. When the state said it would stop issuing one-year provisional licenses, the district's options narrowed.
Fully licensed teachers who apply to Coahoma County from other Mississippi districts often have red flags on their resumes, she said. One applicant, for instance, had earned her teaching license but worked for seven years as a substitute in Oxford, Miss. without ever getting hired - a sign that something was not quite right. "Ninety-percent of the ones with red flags end up to be marginal teachers," she said.
Rhodes cites Friars Point's reputation as a tough community as one disincentive for prospective teachers: In addition to an allegedly thriving drug trade, Friars Point has longstanding gang rivalries with nearby Jonestown. For such a small community, it has posted a high number of violent crimes in recent years, including the night club shooting, the stabbing of a man in a domestic dispute, and the beating death of an unarmed man by five others outside the apartments near the school.
Rhodes said the district has tried both strategies-recruiting widely and growing its own. Neither has worked. In Friars Point, the district encouraged promising assistants to get certified as teachers, promising to reimburse tuition costs. But over the course of several years, only one followed through and managed to pass the Praxis exams required to complete the certification process.
Teach For America has supplied the school with several motivated, talented instructors. But most leave after their two-year commitment ends-if they make it that long. "By the time you start to see the benefits, they are gone," said Rhodes. Friars Point Elementary tried to keep one particularly determined and successful TFA teacher by promoting her to a master teaching position. She left after a year in the new role, saying she wanted to start a family elsewhere.
Rhodes said the district has talked to representatives from a service that-for a fee-recruits teachers from foreign countries, even though the junior high school had to lay off one Indian teacher because of communication barriers. The teacher did not come through a service and wanted to make the move on her own. But she struggled to understand her students, misinterpreting curses as jokes, Rhodes said. The district has also started a modest financial incentive program that provides $500 to high school teachers whose students score well on standardized tests.
Yet as of May, Rhodes still had to fill 20 teaching positions across the district, most of them in Friars Point or at the countywide junior and senior high school.
MSBA - Mississippi School Boards Association > Board Members > CBD Honors Program, 12 Oct 2011 [cached]
Pauline Rhodes, Superintendent
School officials may feel voter ire - The Clarion-Ledger, 19 Oct 2004 [cached]
Board members and Superintendent Pauline Rhodes have been sniping at each other since she took office in January.
Its candidate, Rhodes, the former Coahoma County High School principal, won.
Rhodes could not be reached Sunday night.
About 62 percent of Coahoma County's population is black and a little more than 29 percent is white, according to the 2000 U.S. census.But the schools are reportedly about 98 percent black.
At Tuesday's school board meeting, Winters admonished fellow members and Rhodes as if they were badly behaved children.
When a sheriff's deputy opened the door to restore calm, board member Patrick Campbell was heard cursing Rhodes.
Rhodes has requested an accreditation audit of her district, which is not unusual for a superintendent who hasn't been in office long, said Beth Sewell, the state Department of Education's accreditation director.
Meetings have become more professional despite some verbal jabs between board members and Rhodes, Hatten said.
Member Margaret McGlown, who joined the board in 2000, thinks the board and Rhodes can overcome their differences.
bowerparticipantsN2, 17 Sept 2008 [cached]
Pauline J. Rhodes, Superintendent 662-624-5448
MSBA Online, 23 May 2008 [cached]
Pauline Johnson Rhodes, Superintendent
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