Perry Central High School


   Mr. Watts was a charter faculty member of Perry Central High School, coming on board when Perry Central first opened its doors in 1983.  Mr. Watts would remain here for the next 30 years, building a legacy of loyalty to our school, of excellence in his craft, and of devotion to his students.

   During his tenure, his students won recognition on many local, state, and national levels. 

   As an instructor, Mr. Watts was recognized at various times as STAR Teacher, Teacher of the Month, Perry Central Teacher of the Year, Perry County Teacher of the Year, Fourth Congressional District Teacher of the Year, and runner-up for State Teacher of the Year. Mr. Watts was also nominated for the Mississippi Hall of Fame for the Arts on two occasions.

The John M. Watts Memorial Scholarship

The John M. Watts Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of Mr. John M. Watts; artist, teacher, role model, and mentor for former Perry Central High School students.  His kind spirit, genuineness, and dedication have touched the lives of those who knew him, and continue to live on in those he befriended.  This scholarship was created as a private scholarship by Mr. Titus M. Hines, Mrs. Alisa Deakle Shows, and Mrs. Gayle Bolton Draughn upon Mr. Watts' retirement from Perry Central High School in 2014.  The original scholarship was called the John M. Watts Art Scholarship, but on November 14, 2014, John perished in a house fire, only six months after his retirement.  The scholarship advisory committee has since decided to make this a memorial scholarship entitled, The John M. Watts Memorial Scholarship.

This scholarship is to be awarded annually to a graduating senior of Perry Central who intends to pursue a degree at a two-year or four-year college or university.  The recipient is not required to major in the Arts.  The Scholarship Fund is maintained by The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation.  For more information on this scholarship, an application, or to make a donation, please follow this link: (Under fund list, scroll down to "Scholarship Funds.")

Mr. Watts received the Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education Award from the Mississippi Alliance for the Arts for Art Education in

July 2014.

This portrait of Mr. Watts was painted by one of Mr. Watts' former students, Thomas McSwain, and was presented to him upon his retirement in 2014.

Scholarship Recipients

2014-15                   Megan Fairley

   2015-16                   David Benefield