FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2007
Contact: Joshua Hollis
Five inducted into Mississippi Hall of Master
Teachers at MUW
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Mississippi Hall of Master
Teachers ceremony at Mississippi University for
Women recently recognized five educators for
The five teachers were chosen from eight finalists.
This year’s inductees were Rusty Coats, who teaches
horticulture at the Millsaps Career and Technology
Center in Starkville; Diane J. Hink, social
studies/math/science teacher at Lawndale Elementary
in Tupelo; Sarah Trotman Lacy, biology and genetics
teacher at Oxford High School; Clara Fortune
Thompson, a retired mathematics teacher from Pearl
River Central in Carriere, and Linda Kay Williams, a
science teacher at South Pike Middle School in
The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers was
established in 1991 to recognize educators for their
excellence to teaching. To be eligible, teachers
must have at least 15 years of teaching experience,
including at least seven years of teaching in
Teachers were judged on the basis of their
professional activities, educational leadership,
contributions to curriculum and course development,
teaching philosophy and influence on students and
other teachers. Involvement in extracurricular
activities also was a part of the evaluation.
The Hall now has 102 members, including graduates of
almost every teacher education program in
Mississippi, plus several from other states.
Among the finalists were Debbie M. Edge, a second
grade teacher at North Pontotoc Elementary in Ecru;
Sadie Gray, a kindergarten teacher at Ella Darling
Elementary School in Greenville, and Jackie B.
Staffney, who teaches third graders at Odell
Clausell Elementary School in Jackson.
The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers was held in
conjunction with the Institute for First-year
Teachers, which was initiated in 1993 to advise and
encourage beginning teachers.
The Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Charitable Foundation
sponsored both events.