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

Kelly Riley, MPE Executive Director

While only a few days of the new school year have passed as I write this message, the year will be well under way by the time our members receive this MPE Journal.  In addition to focusing on their students and their classrooms, educators throughout Mississippi are closely monitoring developments in Mississippi’s 2019 elections. MPE believes that as individuals, educators should be actively involved in the political process.  This is particularly important in 2019, as the results of this year’s elections will influence the future of public education for years to come.  

Educators #VotedWithTheirTeacherVoice in the August 6 primary election and it had a significant impact on statewide and legislative races.  In addition to Bill Waller and Tate Reeves facing each other in a runoff for the Republican nomination for Governor on August 27, several key legislative leaders lost their bids for reelection or faced runoffs.  Your vote made a difference!

This issue of our MPE Journal contains responses to our candidate survey from the major candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor.  The questionnaire covers a range of policy issues including funding, the teacher shortage, testing, and Mississippi’s “brain drain.”  Please see pages 12-13 for gubernatorial candidates’ responses and pages 14-15 for Delbert Hosemann’s and Jay Hughes’s responses.  Be sure to exercise your right to vote in Mississippi’s general election on November 5!  

Find Your Voice: MPE’s Legislative Advocacy Guide for Educators is now available in the “Quick Links” section of our homepage (  The guide shares resources and best practices for Mississippi educators in advocating on critical educational issues, monitoring events at our state capitol, and contacting Mississippi lawmakers to encourage them to make the best decisions for public education students and educators throughout our state. I hope this new resource will prove beneficial to your advocacy efforts.  

I always enjoy spotlighting the professional accomplishments of our members in my weekly emails, as well as in our MPE Journal.  Please see page 8 for our “Member Spotlight.”  We recognize our 64 members who were honored as 2019 STAR Teachers last April on page 22.  If you have a recent accomplishment (educational degree, special honor/recognition, etc.) you would like to share with us – or if you are not receiving my weekly emails - please email me at
Be sure to check out page 16 for our 2019-2020 regional training opportunities.  This year’s topics include teacher leadership, supports for EL learners, art education, and meeting the social and emotional needs of today’s learners.  In addition to our regional trainings, MPE offers numerous scholarships and grants to our members throughout the year to support their professional growth and instructional practice.  Please take a few moments to visit the “MPE Grants and Scholarships” section of our website to review the application guidelines and deadlines for each of these opportunities.

We are looking forward to our 2020 Best Practices Symposium featuring Dr. Todd Whitaker on Saturday, April 4, at the Jackson Hilton.  Dr. Whitaker has written over fifty books, including the national best seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently.  I hope you will plan to join us for this exciting day!