Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Derek Pouncy Award and Scholarship will be postponed to a later date.

Derek C. Pouncey loved life! He was an athlete, an artist, a teacher, a coach, a leader, a friend. He passed away Thursday, November 6, 2014, at the age of 39. A native of Meridian and Lauderdale County, Derek was a graduate of West Lauderdale High School, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Mississippi College in Clinton and later a Master’s Degree in School Leadership and Administration from Mississippi State University. Shortly after graduating from MC he felt the hereditary pull to teach and coach football.

As a teacher of Speech, Debate, Theatre, and English Language Arts he impacted students’ lives at Kate Griffin Junior High, Northwest Junior High, Meridian High School, Philadelphia High School, Kemper County High School, East Central Community College, and West Lauderdale Middle and High Schools. He was the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Coca-Cola Educator of Distinction Award. Always humble about his honors, Pouncey mentored and inspired students, seizing each day to live to the fullest as teacher, theatre director, and coach.

On the state level, Pouncey served on the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education Board, with the mission to spread the power of arts in education. Locally, he enjoyed acting at the Meridian Little Theater. He was loved and honored for his work on that stage. He reveled in physical comedy and challenged himself to make the audience laugh harder each night than it had the night prior.

He was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, organizing sports camps for students during summer months. A member at Northcrest Baptist Church, he sang in the choir. The talents he possessed were vast. His most important legacy, though, was the example he provided daily for his beloved family, friends, and students. He taught us all through his beliefs and actions of preparation, love, perseverance, and using one’s talents to glorify God. He will be greatly missed.

The following award is being offered in memory of Derek Pouncey:

The Derek Pouncey Memorial Student Scholarship Award was established by the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) to honor Derek’s lifelong passion for the arts, athletics, and education. The scholarship is awarded to a senior/incoming college freshman to assist with college expenses. Scholarship award amount is contingent on funding.

  1. Complete the application
  2. The student must be accepted by a Mississippi university or community college.
    *Please provide a copy of the acceptance letter.
  3. The student must enroll as a full time undergraduate freshman as defined by the university.
  4. The student must have been an athlete in any sport during high school for a minimum of two years.
    *Please provide an artifact to support this requirement.
  5. The student must have demonstrated a commitment to the arts during high school.
    *Please provide an artifact to support this requirement.
  6. The student will provide three letters of recommendation: two from teachers, and one from an upstanding member of the community.
  7. The student will submit a one-page essay explaining what the scholarship will mean to his/her college experience. The essay will show evidence of leadership, participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, goals and aspirations, as well as any unusual personal or family circumstances.
  8. The applicant will provide a photo and a 100 word biography of him/herself on a flashdrive.

The recipient of the Derek Pouncey Memorial Student Scholarship Award will be honored at the MAAE Awards Ceremony Reception Event to be held at a date to be announced for family, friends, and arts-in-education supporters.

Submit the cover application sheet with all components, postmarked April 15, 2020, to:

Heather Rose LaCoste

Chair, Derek Pouncey Memorial Student Scholarship Award

327 Longwood Drive

Meridian, MS 39305

*Applications MUST have been postmarked by April 15, 2020, to be eligible for consideration.