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2023-24 HCSD Parent of the Year

Posted Date: 2/06/24 (11:48 AM)

(February 5, 2024) - Congratulations to Mrs. Melissa Wedgeworth on being named the Harrison County School District's 2023-24 Parent of the Year! Mrs. Wedgeworth was recognized by HCSD Superintendent Mitchell King and the Harrison County School Board during Monday night’s meeting. She is the mother of 13-year-old Zackary Wedgeworth, who attends West Wortham Elementary & Middle School. “As a parent of a child with special needs, I feel strongly one of the many keys to unlocking my son’s success in this life is by actively being present and a part of the team that paves the way for his future,” said Mrs. Wedgeworth.
Mrs. Wedgeworth said any fears of having a son with different abilities soon dissipated when she and her husband, Chad, encountered teachers who embraced their son’s differences and took the time to uncover his strengths and foster his unique ways of learning.
“The depth of gratitude I have for our school system is hard to put into words. So, I will simply say I am forever thankful. Providing support not only to my son, but to the people who passionately support him is the very least I can do,” she said.
As an active member of the school PTO, Mrs. Wedgeworth has volunteered at book fairs, field days, and concession stand sales. She assists in various activities as needed and as her work schedule permits. Last year, she helped open the WolfPack Shack Café, where students sell lattes and breakfast items as a fundraiser to benefit three special needs classes at West Wortham.
“Mrs. Wedgeworth is the sole reason the café came to fruition,” said Mrs. Toni Martino, a teacher at West Wortham. “Every Wednesday morning, she arrives at the school at 6 a.m. to set up the café and does not leave until 11 a.m. She has devoted countless hours of her time making lattes, going to the store to purchase items, and using her own money to keep the café running. The café is something the teachers and staff look forward to, and it provides the students with skills they will need for future employment”.
Mrs. Wedgeworth also designed the print for the hoodie, sweatshirt, and t-shirts for the classroom fundraiser.
“She is truly the most selfless and altruistic person I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Her support and effort of helping the teachers, staff, and students of West Wortham is unmatched,” said Martino.
Mrs. Wedgeworth hopes modeling teamwork, compassion, kindness, and positive communication between her family and the school will cultivate a sense of unwavering support that will inspire confidence in her son. She believes investing her time and energy into Zackary’s educational activities will have long-term benefits and leave a lasting imprint on his life. 
“I have witnessed the finest educators I have ever known inspire my son and teach him lessons that extend beyond the classroom. The amazing thing is that it’s not just my child that they do this for; it’s for every child who enters those doors. My desire is that I pour as much into the school and school system as they have abundantly poured their resources and assets into my son. Investing in my son’s school is investing in him, and that is an investment that will reap a lifetime of rewards,” said Mrs. Wedgeworth.
HCSD is grateful and blessed to have such a dedicated and supportive parent who truly cares about the success of not just her child, but all students at West Wortham! Thank you, Mrs. Wedgeworth, for all you do for the Wolfpack family and the school district!

 We would also like to thank and congratulate all our 2023-24 Parent of the Year honorees from the following schools in HCSD:

  • Bel-Aire Elementary – Amber Maples
  • Crossroads Elementary – Ashleigh Marie Morris
  • D’Iberville Middle – Jessica Washington
  • Harrison Central Elementary – Julia Kirkland Moffett
  • Lizana Elementary – Justin Figgemeier
  • Lyman Elementary – Melissa Lenoir Upton
  • North Gulfport Elementary & Middle – Olga Gomez Moradel
  • North Woolmarket Elementary & Middle – Beth Koger
  • Saucier Elementary – Celena Shaughnessy
  • Three Rivers Elementary – Michael Palmer
  • West Harrison Middle – Anna Sandel
  • West Wortham Elementary & Middle – Melissa Wedgeworth
  • Woolmarket Elementary – Cristina Mantooth
  • D’Iberville High – Curtis Key, Sr.
  • West Harrison High – Chad Martin