Gazebo Gazette

On Nov. 4, William Carey University and Gulfport School District will host the 1st Annual Statewide Teacher Shortage Conference. The free, day-long event for educators will be held at WCU’s Tradition campus near Biloxi.

“Attendees will hear from current and future educators, who will talk about the obstacles they’ve faced in becoming teachers. Breakout sessions will produce a public document with practical steps that school districts can take to help solve the teacher shortage,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, WCU executive vice president.

“If we come up with one solution that hasn’t been thought of, one that can spark a conversation with the Mississippi Department of Education, or local school boards, or the state legislature, it will be worth our time.”

Burnett served on the governor’s Education Human Capital Task Force, which released a report last month with recommendations about how to address the teacher shortage. Megan Boren, who leads the Southern Regional Education Board’s work on human capital strategies, helped organize the task force. She will be keynote speaker at the 1st Annual Teacher Shortage Conference.

Four education leaders will serve as breakout session facilitators:

  • Dr. Eddie Peasant, superintendent of the Starkville Oktibbeha School District
  • Dr. Tyler Hansford, superintendent of the Union Public School District
  • Dr. Matt Dillon, superintendent of the Petal School District
  • Dr. Michael Cormack, deputy superintendent of the Jackson Public School District

The conference will also include a panel discussion with teacher education majors from William Carey University and Teacher Academy students from area high schools.

Seating at the 1st Annual Statewide Teacher Shortage Conference is limited. If you are interested in attending, please call the WCU School of Education at (601) 318-6200.