August 31, 2015 Rotogram: 9

Starkville Police Department

Frank Nichols is Starkville’s police chief. Zach Rowland will introduce the 23-year veteran of the local force.

Next Week:

Observing Labor Day, we will not meet. Have a safe holiday!

Sept. 14: HPC2 Strategic Iniatives

Retired Air Force General James Poss is Director of Strategic Initiatives in MSU’s High Performance Computing Collaboratory based at the Stennis Space Center. Stu Vance introduces him.

For the Record—August 24

  • Invocation and pledge:             Allan Tucker
  • Attendance:                                            68%
    Present — 100 (37 exempt, 1 honorary)
    Absent — 78 (18 exempt, 11 honorary)
  • Guests: Member guests were Jody Woodrum and Tori Holloway of Rex Buffington, Ben Carver of Robyn Havard, Jackie Bowman, Darlene Commish and Wendy Franklin of Cory Lucius, and Jordan Gillentine of Garrett Whitehurst. Guests of the club were Albert, Jeanette and Ashley Allen, Julie Kennedy, Elana Lovato, Dionnah Jackson, Benedetta Trentarossi, RYE student, and Robbie Faulk, Starkville Daily News.

In Memoriam—Hank Moseley

The meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of Hank Moseley who lost his valiant fight with cancer the previous week.

A Rotarian since 1983, Hank was a staff representative for Congressman Greg Harper and a 1951 graduate of MSU.

Hurricane Katrina and Rotary

As the state and nation focused on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Bill Simmons described our club’s key role in disaster relief.

Serving as treasurer with District Governor Stu Vance, he thought he’d have an easy job “writing a few checks.” It all changed on Aug. 29, 2005, when Vance contacted Rotary International with an offer to spearhead a relief fundraising campaign.

“They said, ‘If you’d like to contribute, send your money to Bill Simmons at 627 Sherwood Road, Starkville, MS,’” he said. “We collected, in the next nine months, $976,000 that went through my little mailbox.”

Past-District Governor Bill Foster was in charge of deciding who got what and how much they got. Every penny was distributed because the district paid for supplies and postage.

2015 New Teacher of Year Web


Outstanding First Year Teacher— Ashley Allen, center, who completed her first year of teaching at West Oktibbeha Elementary School, was recognized as our New Teacher of the Year.

She now teaches fifth grade math at Henderson Ward Elementary School. A Starkville native, she is an MSU alumna in kinesiology with a master of science in health promotion. She is working on an M.S. in mid-level education.

Pictured with her are her principal, Julie Kennedy, and Nancy Walsh, Student-Teacher Recognition chair.


Opportunities for Service Above Self

  • Get Swept Up! Sept. 9—contact Carrie-Beth Randall.
  • Between the Lions reading—contact Christina Lucas.
  • Rotaract mentoring—contact President Zach.
  • Interact sponsorship—contact Ned Browning.
  • Rotary Youth Exchange host—contact Grant Arinder
  • Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, Dec. 3 and 19 at Walmart.

MSU’s Women’s Basketball Starts Strong in 2015

August 24—Mississippi State University’s women’s basketball team is at the all-time top of its game. With last year’s eleven SEC victories and a school record 27 total victories, the squad is looking for an even greater season.

Associate Head Coach Johnnie Harris said coaches always want more from the team, the athletic director and the fans. Complimenting last season’s record crowds, she challenged fans to open the season with 10,000 attendees on Nov. 13 against Samford.

The final regular season game against Ole Miss in March drew 7,326 fans to see the Bulldogs win 55-47. It is the largest crowd ever to watch a women’s college basketball game in the state of Mississippi.

Explaining why Head Coach Vic Schaefer had to bow out of speaking, Dave Boles said, “When lining up speakers, you never know who’s going to be here. Four months ago, I said, ‘Vic you have June, July or August, just pick your date.’ Unbeknownst to him the NCAA would invite him to a meeting in Indianapolis. And, you don’t say ‘No’ to those invitations.”

Harris added that Schaefer was learning how and why teams are selected for the NCAA tournament. Last year, State was a five seed behind fourth seed Duke despite being higher ranked in the polls.

Starting last season with 18 straight victories helped propel crowd sizes from 300 to 400 spectators to the record. The team ended the season at number 3 in the SEC and is nationally ranked 11 or 14 depending on which pre-season poll is viewed.

Harris’ reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters showed as the staff’s first two recruiting classes were among the best in program history. Last year’s freshman group was a Top-25 recruiting class. Having worked with Schaefer for five seasons at Texas A&M, she also serves as State’s special teams coach.

Introducing Assistant Coach Elana Lovato as this year’s recruiting coordinator, Harris said, “She has gotten us in with prospects we couldn’t reach before.”

“Assistant Coach Dionnah Jackson already has made an impact with point guards and guards just being on the floor with them,” she added.

“We have a young team, but it’s a fun team,” said the Pine Bluff, Arkansas, native. “Even though we had seniors last year, we ended most nights with two or three freshmen or sophomores on the floor.”

Highlights of her roster preview include:

  • Only one senior, Sherise Williams, who can run.
  • Chinwe Okorie, a 6-5 junior.
  • Dominique Dillingham, a crowd favorite, tough, physical junior.
  • Teaira “Big T” McCowan, a 6-7 freshman.
  • LaKaris “Big Ticket” Salter who can shoot, but has to work on making it back down court.

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