The School

T.R. Sanders Elementary School serves about 340 students in grades PreK (age four) to sixth. Our students come from Hollandale, Arcola, Darlove, Estell, and several other small communities in Washington County. We are the only public elementary school serving those communities.

In 2010, due to falling enrollment, the district closed Chambers Middle School, which is located in Arcola, MS. The sixth grade students then started attending Sanders, while the seventh and eighth grade students now attend Simmons Jr/Sr High School.

We share a campus with Simmons, including a cafeteria and several computer labs. Most of our classrooms are housed in two buildings, Hall A for PreK through second grade and Hall B for third through sixth grade, but we also have a separate library, office building, and multipurpose building that is used for physical education classes and large events. In 2019 we started a community garden on campus, in collaboration with Delta Health Alliance, Delta Eats, and Food Corps.

Students and Food Corps members harvest sweet potatoes in the Fall of 2019

The school was named after Mr. Theodore Roosevelt Sanders, who served as the principal of the combined school and superintendent of the district. His son, Howard Sanders, also served as superintendent of the district.

The District

The Hollandale School District serves about 600 students in grades PreK (age four) to twelfth grade. The District has two schools, Sanders Elementary and Simmons Jr/Sr High School, which share the same campus. Simmons was the original school for African American students until the district was integrated in the 1960s. It was during this time that the high school for white children in Hollandale burned down.

The schools and district office are located in Hollandale, MS, a small town of about 2,700 people. The district is one of four in Washington County, and it serves Hollandale, Arcola, Darlove, Estell, and several other small communities in the southeastern part of the county.

Hollandale is a close-knit community with much to be proud of, including its sports teams, which have won state championships in football, basketball, and baseball. Most recently, the football team won state championships in the 1A classification in 2016, 2017, and 2018, winning over 40 games in a row.

The football team ready to play in the 2017 state championship

Hollandale is a traditional Delta community in that it was organized around a small farming community and developed around several plants which supported those farms. One of these was a catfish processing plant that developed due to its proximity to Belzoni, MS, which was once the catfish capital of the world. These plants have since closed, leaving the community improverished and without major industry. The school district is now the largest employer in the town, followed by Monsanto, a seed and chemical company owned by Bayer.

In 2017, Hollandale and its neighboring district to the north, the Leland School District, were awarded a five-year grant from the Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, creating the Deer Creek Promise Community. The grant is administered by the Delta Health Alliance, and is the second such grant in Mississippi (the first was located in nearby Sunflower County). Promise Neighborhoods attempt to surround children with all of the necessary supports to be successful, with school just being one of those. The Deer Creek Promise Community provides academic tutors, a community garden, mentors, health case managers, family counselors, and many other supports for students and their families.

Meet the Team

Teachers

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Abigail McDougal

2nd Grade Teacher

2 years in Hollandale

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Bonnie Miller

1st Grade Teacher

1 year in Hollandale

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Brittney Williams

PreK Teacher

1 year in Hollandale

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Charvita Tolbert

Special Education Teacher

6 years in Hollandale

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Chiara Perry

1st Grade Teacher

1 year in Hollandale

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Dannette Lewis

3rd, 4th ELA Teacher

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Delinda Samuel

ELA Teacher

19 years in Hollandale

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Emma Dorsey

Special Education Teacher

25 years in Hollandale

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Gabrielle Johnson

Librarian, MTSS Coordinator

1 year in Hollandale

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Janice Potts

Kindergarten Teacher

20 years in Hollandale

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Jeremy Packer

Physical Education Teacher

1st year in Hollandale

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Lahqiana Fain

Math Teacher

1st year in Hollandale

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Ray Thompson

Math Teacher

1st year in Hollandale

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Shelia Gray-Daniels

Gifted Teacher

22 years in Hollandale

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Shelly Branning

PreK Teacher

8 years in Hollandale

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Sher'Creshia Cannon

ELA Teacher

1st year in Hollandale

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Susan Theunissen

5th, 6th Math Teacher

23 years in Hollandale

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Tamara Strahan

5th Science Teacher

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Tashekia Atkins

Special Education Teacher

1 year in Hollandale

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Veronica Jenkins

6th ELA Teacher

9 years in Hollandale

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Vivian Stewart

2nd Grade Teacher

32 years in Hollandale

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Yvonne Bee

Special Education Teacher

Teacher Assistants

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Arlelia Maybell

Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

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Aurelia Dillard

Teacher Assistant

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Jakayla Stampley

PreK Teacher Assistant

1 year in Hollandale

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Jessye Vallery

Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

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Latonya Washington

1st Grade Teacher Assistant

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Naomi Curtis

1st Grade Teacher Assistant

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Nikeda Howard

2nd Grade Teacher Assistant

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Patricia Johnson

Teacher Assistant

28 years in Hollandale

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Paula Bowdre

2nd Grade Teacher Assistant

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Pearlie Douglas

Special Education Teacher Assistant

1 year in Hollandale

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Shana Crawford

PreK Teacher Assistant

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Tiangela Thomas

Special Education Teacher Assistant

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Veronica Watson

Special Education Teacher Assistant

Support Staff

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Cynthia Vassar

Custodian

1 year in Hollandale

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Mamie Warren

District Nurse

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Officer Kelvin Stewart

School Resource Officer

1 year in Hollandale

Administration

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Jarvis Williams

Behavior Specialist

10 years in Hollandale

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Raven Thomas

Counselor, Parent Liaison

3 years in Hollandale

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Shontelle Bridges

Interim Principal

12 years in Hollandale

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Yvonne Venson

Office Secretary