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Hattiesburg Welcomes Statewide Educational Conference


Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the William Carey School of Education, and PREPS Associate Director Dr. Patti Permenter plan break-out sessions for the Mississippi Education Partnership Conference, coming up Feb. 25-26 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.

The Mississippi Education Partnership Conference is coming up Feb. 25-26 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. The annual event celebrates achievements and collaborations in schools – and educators from all over the state are invited to attend.

The conference is co-hosted by PREPS, the Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools, headquartered at William Carey University, and MAPE, the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education.

“This Partnership Conference is a great opportunity to come together and celebrate schools that are beating the odds and creating community partnerships, learn about the latest research from local and national speakers, and network with educators and stakeholders from all corners of the state," said PREPS Associate Director Dr. Patti Permenter.

Highlighted by two award luncheons, the two-day conference also includes national-level education speakers, a vendors exhibition, a job fair and break-out sessions focused on the concerns of administrators, teachers, interns and community partners.


* What: Mississippi Education Partnership Conference

* When: Feb. 25-26. Continental breakfast, vendor exhibits and job fair, 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Conference speakers and events, 8 a.m. to late afternoon.

* Where: Lake Terrace Convention Center, Hattiesburg * To register: Contact Dr. Patti Permenter,, or visit CEU, SEMI and OSL credits available to educators.

Day One: Feb. 25

The day kicks off at 8 a.m. with welcomes from Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker, Petal Superintendent Dr. Matt Dillon and MAPE/PREPS representatives. The Petal High School ROTC Honor Guard will present colors for the singing of the national anthem.

The morning’s keynote speaker is Mr. Kim Marshall, former Boston Public Schools teacher, principal, and central office curriculum director. He now coaches principals, gives workshops and courses on school leadership, and consults with school districts, often rethinking teacher supervision and evaluation. Marshall is publisher of the weekly Marshall Memo, summarizing best practices from 64 publications, and is the author of “Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation.”

Break-out session on a variety of topics run from 10 a.m. until noon.

At noon, Mississippi PREPS will host the Value-Added Awards Luncheon with honored guest Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. These awards recognize K-12 schools from 57 districts across the state that are performing significantly better than other schools with similar socioeconomic circumstances. The WCU Jazz Band will perform during the luncheon.

Break-out sessions continue from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m., Anthony Colaninno will deliver an afternoon keynote speech. Colaninno has worked in school settings ranging from the rural poverty of eastern Washington to the affluence of the Metro Boston area. He developed his own education consultancy, Leading and Teaching for Growth, and worked at the e-learning company Mindset Works Inc.

Conference attendees can visit the job fair and vendor exhibits to close out the day.

Day 2: Feb. 26

Day two opens at 8 a.m. with a welcome by WCU President Dr. Tommy King, who will introduce Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann for a keynote speech. Mr. Hosemann will discuss the potential for partnerships between public schools and the businesses in their communities.

A panel discussion follows featuring remarks by local, state and national-level experts on education issues; the panel includes a question-and-answer session. Break-out sessions run next, from 10 a.m. to noon.

At noon, conference-goers gather for the MAPE Governor’s Award Luncheon. Elementary, middle and high schools from across the state – and their community partners – will be recognized for working together to develop projects to improve learning outcomes for students.

The day ends with visits to the job fair and vendors exhibits. For more information, contact Dr. Patti Permenter,, or visit CEU, SEMI and OSL credits available to educators.

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