DeSoto County claims largest school district title

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - DeSoto County is one of the fastest growing counties in the country, and along with that comes new bragging rights. Thursday, DeSoto County School District officials said their district is now the largest in the state of Mississippi.

"People move to DeSoto County because they want our teachers to teach their children," superintendent Milton Kuykendall said.

With more than 30,000 students, Kuykendall said it could not happen without his dedicated staff of teaching professionals.

"I think the reason were the largest school district in Mississippi and the reason we've grown 7,000 students in the last five years is because we have the greatest teachers in America," he said.

As the county grows, so does the plan to add more schools. DeSoto County has plans to build a total of five new schools in the next four years.

"We'll have the two middle schools - Center Hill and Lewisburg - open for the start of school, and then halfway through the school year we will get into Lake Cormorant High School," superintendent of operations Ken Reid said.

Kuykendall said the district grew by 770 students this year, falling short of previous gains of between 1,400-1,700 through the past several years. Being the biggest in the district is fine, Kuykendall said, but the hard work continues.

"We strive everyday to try and be better today than we were yesterday," he said.

School officials said that all new school projects are scheduled to be completed and opened by the fall of 2010.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.