When students enter the Lake Cormorant High School campus, they will ride on a newly named street called “Rhonda Guice Way.” The street honors the school’s first principal.
Rhonda Guice retired as principal at Lake Cormorant High in June. The road dedication was a surprise to her. As the new street sign was unveiled in front of a large group of administrators and teachers, she stood and wiped tears as the crowd cheered.
“Mrs. Guice worked to help students be the best they could be,” said LCHS Principal Conell Phillips, Jr. “She opened Lake Cormorant Middle School in 2006 and Lake Cormorant High School in 2010. She hired the staff and gave her students and teachers a vision for the direction of these schools.”
Guice, a Booneville native, started a 29-year career with DeSoto County Schools after graduating from the University of Mississippi. Her first job was at Horn Lake High School. She taught biology and took over a failing girls’ basketball program. The first year, her team won two games. The second year, her team won the first of two state championships. She also coached girls’ softball and volleyball. Her volleyball team made six appearances in the state “Final Four” and won two state championships.
Leadership, on and off the court, became her trademark. Named Coach of the Year for the state in 1995 and 1999, she was the first woman athletic director in a 5A school in DeSoto County, and one of the first in the state. After earning her master’s degree in administration and leadership, she was promoted to assistant principal at Horn Lake High. Two years later, she became principal at Lake Cormorant Middle/High School. When the new high school was completed three years later, she joined an elite group of female high school principals.
In 2006, the new Lake Cormorant Middle/High School pulled students from Walls Elementary (5th grade students), Hernando High, and Horn Lake High.
“At first, students and parents did not want to be a part of this new place,” Guice recalls. “This period was the biggest challenge in my career. However, I saw this community come together as they became proud of this school and our students’ many accomplishments.”
In 2009, she earned the title of DCS Administrator of the Year
“Mrs. Guice was at Lake Cormorant from the moment the school zone was formed, and she has left a lasting impact on this entire community,” said Supt. Cory Uselton. “There are countless students and employees who list Rhonda Guice as a role model and mentor, and she is definitely leaving behind a legacy of excellence.”