Meridian Community College and the Lauderdale County School District are being recognized for their long-standing relationship.
The college and the district received the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education Governor's Award, which honors school-community partnerships making an impact across the state. This was the first time MCC and the school district received the award.
The award recognizes the C3 Ready Partnership Initiative, a collaborative project aiming to build educational systems producing highly-skilled workers to meet the needs of current and future employers in Lauderdale County. The partnership focuses on three areas: college, career, and community.
Dual enrollment credit, career and technical classes and workforce development are some ways the college and district are collaborating.
"We are very excited," said John-Mark Cain, superintendent of the Lauderdale County School District. "It implies a great partnership between the Lauderdale County School District and Meridian Community College."
MCC President Thomas Huebner noted that the award represents something bigger that just one school.
Barbara Jones, executive director of the MCC Foundation and a Lauderdale County School District board member, said the college and district have always had a strong connection, but this year, that connection is growing. Since Cain became the district's superintendent last summer, programs like ACT Work Keys and a career fair have been added, Jones said.
"In the K-12 education system, the focus is on equipping students to exit our high schools with both academic, technical and soft skills that are needed for college and career readiness," said Teri Edwards, LCSD K-6th grade curriculum director.
The Governor’s Award winners will be recognized during the Governor’s Award Luncheon, which is planned for Feb. 26 in Hattiesburg. The luncheon will be part of the 2019 Partnership Conference hosted by the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education and Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools.