Leadership Mississippi Session on Education Held in Starkville
Leadership Mississippi held its Education Session in Starkville, home of Mississippi State University, on August 22-23. During this session, the class discussed topics ranging from early childhood education to higher ed and its effect on Mississippi. Dr. Sam Jones kicked off the session on Thursday, August 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn with a highly competitive Marshmallow Challenge followed by his discussion. Click here to learn more about the Marshmallow Challenge.
The class then heard presentations by their peers on Perceptions vs. Realities of their local communities. After lunch, the class embarked on an exciting tour of Mississippi State’s campus and the Thad Cochran-Research, Technology & Economic Development Park. Later that evening, an alumni reception was held at the A.B. McKay Enology Lab. The current class joined local Leadership Mississippi alumni for a delicious steak dinner sponsored by Atmos Energy.
On Friday, the current Leadership Mississippi class had a packed morning beginning with breakfast at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Seminar Room in the Thad Cochran-Research, Technology & Economic Development Park. After a greeting from Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, the class received updates from the Capitol from Sen. Gray Tollison, Chair of the Senate Education Committee and Rep. John Moore, Chair of the House Education Committee.
Afterwards, the class participated in a riveting panel session entitled, “Education Reform and Where it’s Headed,” moderated by Dr. Richard Blackbourn, Dean of Education at Mississippi State University. Panelists included Dr. Gail Lindsey, Interim Director, Mississippi State University-The Early Childhood Institute; Suzette Matthews, Director of Development, Teach for America, 2012 Graduate of Leadership Mississippi; Rhea Williams-Bishop, Director, The Center for Education Innovation, 1995-1996 Graduate of Leadership Mississippi; and Dr. Laurie Smith, Education Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Phil Bryant, 2003 Graduate of Leadership Mississippi.
The class then heard from the second panel on “Connecting Workforce to Education in Mississippi,” also moderated by Dr. Richard Blackbourn. Participants in this panel consisted of Jean Massey, Associate Superintendent, Vocational Education, Mississippi Department of Education; Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr., Acting President, Mississippi Valley State University, Associate Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs, IHL; William “Skip” Scaggs, Division Director, Existing Industry and Business, Mississippi Development Authority, 2007 Graduate of Leadership Mississippi; and Dr. Paul Miller, Vice President, East Mississippi Community College Golden Triangle Campus.
The session conclude with a luncheon in the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Seminar Room at the Thad Cochran-Research, Technology & Economic Development Park.
Leadership Mississippi would like to thank our sponsors for the Starkville session: Atmos Energy, Mississippi State College of Business, Mississippi State Research and Technology Corporation and Mississippi State University Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion.