Koonce’s legacy abundant
A man who served Tunica in many ways died July 27, 2011 at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, surrounded by his family.
Ellis Everett Koonce, Jr. was born at home to Ellis Everett Koonce and Gladys Drake Koonce on December 3, 1929 in the Woodland community of Birmingham, Alabama. He moved to Tunica with his family and had lived in Tunica so long that he was considered a lifelong Tunican. He was schooled in Tunica and served his country in the U.S. Air Force.
He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Don; they were married for 62 years. Ellis started his insurance career at The Woolfolk Company after his marriage to Mary Don.
Test scores leave school officials optimistic
Noticeable progress has been made, but school officials say they aren’t stopping until test scores are up across the board.
Tunica County Schools testing coordinator Dr. Debra Dace said the district received results of the MCT2 and Subject Area Testing Program in late July. Schools will not receive “labels” until September, but Dace said she anticipates that the district as a whole will move from Academic Watch to Successful.
The district is on the way there, with local third through eighth grade students exceeding statewide proficient averages in math. Statewide, 48.5 percent of third graders, 47.8 percent of fourth graders, 43.6 percent of fifth graders, 43.3 percent of sixth graders, 48.1 percent of seventh graders and 49.1 percent of eighth graders scored proficient. On the local level, 50.5 percent of local third graders, 52.7 of fourth graders, 48.4 percent of fifth graders, 43.7 percent of sixth graders, 50 percent of seventh graders and 60 percent of eighth graders scored proficient. Tunica exceeded the state’s advanced averages in fifth grade math. Statewide, 14.6 percent of fifth graders posted advanced scores. Locally, 19.1 percent of fifth graders posted results in the advanced category.
These boots are made for walking
Annual trip to Tunica provides wealth of blessings
Every summer since 1995 the Tunica Community Ministry has hooked up with churches from all over the country to bring young missionaries to Tunica.
Over the 16 year span, the program has hosted approximately 5,000 missionaries who have performed $40,000 worth of construction projects in the county. The construction work includes building wheelchair ramps, cleaning, and painting houses or other buildings in need and yard work, among other things.
This summer, a group of 28 students, ages 12-18, and six adults from Pittsburgh, PA, made Tunica their home for a week. While here, the students visited the Palmer Home in Hernando, helped with a Vacation Bible School, visited the jail and performed construction work around town.
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