Meridian Star

Education

May 7, 2014

MSU-Meridian celebrates educators

MERIDIAN —     Recognizing outstanding educators and promoting positive educational programs in the area is the goal of the Division of Education at MSU-Meridian.

    For the seventh year, the division hosted the Excellence in Education banquet and Phi Delta Kappa Initiation program in the Kahlmus auditorium. Guest speaker for the evening was Beth Clay, who shared her insight concerning legislative education issues.

    Clay is founder of The Clay Firm specializing in Mississippi-focused legislative, government relations and public affairs consulting, providing a full range of services-from direct lobbying to public policy and grassroots advocacy to contract procurement support at both the state and local levels. The firm’s list of long-term clients includes Fortune 500 companies, businesses across numerous sectors and nonprofits and trade groups of all sizes.

    Eighteen new members were inducted into Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), the premier professional association for educators. Phi Delta Kappa inductees must have 3.0 overall GPA and registered and admitted for a degree program in the College of Education at Mississippi State.

    Ten outstanding education students were also recognized at the banquet. They include: Catherine Moore receiving the Outstanding Graduate for the Elementary Education Program. Moore is currently employed a third grade math and science teacher at Poplar Springs Elementary School. She has 17 years of teaching experience. She will graduate this month with a master of science degree in elementary education.  

    Dana Moore of Meridian receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Community College Education Program. Moore is a Technical Sergeant in the Mississippi Air National Guard serving as a Boom Operator on the KC-135 Stratotanker at Key Field ANGB in Meridian. She will graduate with a master of arts degree in Teaching Community College Education and plans to pursue a career as an English instructor at a local area community college.  

    Rachel Westbrook  of Little Rock receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Counselor Education – School Counseling Program. Westbrook will graduate this month with a master of science degree/school counseling degree. She is currently a teacher assistant at Newton County Elementary School.

    Tamekia Stewart of Pearl receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student for the Educational Leadership Program. Stewart teaches seventh grade special education inclusion at Pearl Junior High. She will graduate in August with an educational specialist degree in educational leadership and holds a 4.0 GPA.

    Laney Livingston of Collinsville received the Outstanding Student for Elementary Education. She will graduate this month with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education with cum laude honors and is a Riley Scholar. Livingston completed her student teaching internship at Union Elementary School.

    Shelby Hall of Union received the Outstanding Student for Secondary Education. She will graduate this month with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education with magna cum laude honors and is a Riley Scholar. She completed her student teaching internship at Newton County Middle School in Newton.

    Haylee Roberts of Rose Hill received the Outstanding Student for Special Education. She is one of the first students to graduate with a bachelor of science degree in special education. Roberts is scheduled to graduate this month with magna cum laude honors and is a Riley Scholar. Roberts has been accepted into the University of Mississippi Occupational Therapy program.

    Cory Roberson of Meridian received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award and Kaleb Smith of Forest was chosen as the Outstanding Graduate student. Roberson will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in special education and Smith will receive his master of science degree in secondary education. Smith teaches U.S. History at Morton High School.

    Four special awards were presented as well. The Gary Benton Undergraduate Award was given to outstanding undergraduate student Kayla Moore. Moore will graduate this month with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. She completed her internship at Enterprise Elementary School.  

    The George Thomas Graduate Student Award was given to Jennifer Dupont, who was the outstanding graduate student. Dupont is employed with the Meridian Public School District as the math instructional specialist for elementary schools. The awards were named for Dr. Benton and Dr. Thomas for their leadership of the Division of Education at MSU-Meridian during the last 40 years. They each served as head of the division and are responsible for the growth and development of the division. They are also each active in their communities and give back in service to the community as well as to the university.

    A new award, the Janet McCarra Scholarship Award went to Jennifer Neal, an elementary education graduate student. This award was established to a deserving graduate student in the Elementary Education Program. Neal teaches first grade in the Quitman School District.

    Another new award, the Division of Education Outstanding Alumni award went to Dr. Tory Shirley. Dr. Shirley is an assistant professor in the Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education Department of the Division of Education at MSU Meridian.

    Phi Delta Kappa inductees were: Haley Chaney, Hickory; Amy Fiegenshue, Philadelphia; Kati Gill, Carthage; Logan Gray, Philadelphia; Stephanie Goss, Pelahatchie; Shelby Hall, Union; Jenae Hardy, Chunky; Mandy Hopkins, Chunky; Delnita Jones, Philadelphia; Jessica Kendrick, DeKalb; ShaDonna Lewis, Meridian; Bethany Mercer, Enterprise; Amanda Morgan, Brandon; Dustin Phillips, Forest; Cory Roberson, Meridian; Haylee Roberts, Rose Hill; Tanya Scherer, Pelahatchie; Megan Windham, Laurel.

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