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MPE Executive Director's Message
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From the Desk of Kelly Riley, MPE Executive Director

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
- Maimonides

Kelly Riley, MPE Executive Director

I am a Bruce Springsteen fan.  I’ve seen him in concert, read his biography, and he is frequently on my radio.  Driving into work recently, one of my favorite songs, “Land of Hope and Dreams,” came on.  I realized how applicable the lyrics are for the beginning of a new school year:

I will provide for you and I’ll stand by your side
You’ll need a good companion now for this part of the ride
Yeah, leave behind your sorrows, let this day be the last
Well, tomorrow there’ll be sunshine and all this darkness past

The song continues….

I said, this train, dreams will not be thwarted
This train, faith will be rewarded
This train, hear the steel wheels singing
This train, bells of freedom ringing


As the conductor of your classes’ train this year, where will you take your students?  Are you encouraging their dreams and motivating them through each leg of the ride?  Will you be “a good companion” upholding them in their disappointments and celebrating their successes?  We all know that hard work (i.e., “faith”) and education open doors (i.e., “bells of freedom”) for students.  As I’ve shared before, every child deserves an adult who doesn’t give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they possibly can be.

This issue of our MPE Journal is full of valuable information for this new school year.  You will find an overview of educators’ rights in various situations in our focus article on pages 12 and 13.  We provide a list of our 2018-2019 regional trainings on page 16.  Our “Member Spotlight” on pages 8 and 21 celebrates the accomplishments of several of our members throughout the state.  Be sure to see our “Save the Date” reminder for our March 30, 2019, Best Practices Symposium featuring Gerry Brooks and Marshall Ramsey.

We are preparing to launch our new website and association management system in October.  If you receive an email from me or receive correspondence in the mail regarding the need for you to take some action related to this launch, please do so at your earliest convenience.  We are very excited about the opportunities these new resources will provide for our members.  

Are you receiving my weekly emails each Friday morning?  They are a great way for you to stay informed as to the latest MPE news/scholarships/grants, education and legislative updates, and other opportunities.  If you are not receiving my emails, please contact our office (800-523-0269) or email me (kelly@mpe.org) to make sure we have your current email address on file.  I will email our members a link to our annual membership survey the beginning of October.  We want to hear from you, so please make sure we have your current email address on file!

MDE’s Student Testing Task Force met in June and August.  A subcommittee of the task force met in July to work on surveys that will be sent to local districts. The task force is scheduled to meet again on October 16.  Additional information, including links to live-streams of task force meetings, as well as links to recorded live-stream video of meetings, is available at https://www.mdek12.org/SSE/mississippi-student-testing-task-force.   

Best wishes to you and your students for an incredible 2018-19 school year in which your dreams are not thwarted and your faith is rewarded!