School of Education

The Center for Education Support (CES) at Mississippi University for Women will host Educators Are Essential, a free educational conference for local educators presented by the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee, Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The W’s Center for Education Support is excited to partner with the Chamber’s Education Committee to make a spectacular event for educators in Columbus and Lowndes County. As The W’s School of Education is our community’s primary pipeline of educators, we must continuously look for ways to honor what teachers do and create opportunities for lifelong learning and professional growth,” said Penny Mansell, director of the Center for Education Support.

Attendees will receive a complimentary breakfast sponsored by Chick-fil-A and lunch will be provided by The W’s CES. They also will receive a swag bag, including more giveaways, coupons and a discount card for educators to use at chamber member businesses. In addition to the swag bags, teachers will have the opportunity to visit the on-site resource fair, which consists of local business vendors offering valuable resources and information.

“Our goal is to show the educators of Lowndes County that the business community supports and values them,” said Cathryn Borer, director of the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, and the business community wants the educators of those students to feel appreciated.”

Dr. Stephanie Duguid, keynote speaker sponsored by The W, will present “What do I do with this pencil?” The presentation will address keeping classrooms in tune with children and young adults, including how the learner has changed and how we are responsible for changing with the learner.

The W’s Rich Sobolewski, director of web communications, and Dr. Kristi DiClemente, chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Geography, will offer professional development on artificial intelligence. W alumnae and author Leta Palmiter, the executive director and founder of Illuminations Center for Dyslexia, will offer training on dyslexia in classrooms.

Sheriff Eddie Hawkins will speak on school safety from a law enforcement perspective.

The CES will sponsor lunch and drinks for 300 guests and offer CEUs ($20) with all-day attendance. The CES also will assist with donations of classroom supplies and certificates for free online PLA courses. The School of Education will be available for information on the university’s master’s and bachelor’s-level education programs.

Mansell said, “Part of the focus of the CES is to actively support and engage with educators in our community so we can collaborate and find opportunities for partnerships and professional development. This year’s conference style for Educators Are Essential provides CES the perfect opportunity to bring teachers together and connect through meaningful professional development. We hope that teachers leave energized, celebrated and leave with some magic and with the knowledge that their community supports them in their classroom.”

To register, please visit:

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.