By NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Three issues important to Northeast Mississippi will highlight Friday’s State of the Region Meeting, presented by CREATE Foundation’s Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi.
The public is invited to the free event, which begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the BancorpSouth Conference Center. The program begins at 9:30 a.m.
• Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, the keynote speaker, will talk about Mississippi’s future. Gunn was elected speaker in January 2012, the first Republican to hold the office in 136 years.
• Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Gold Triangle Development Link, will focus on Columbus, Lowndes County and the Golden Triangle Area. Lowndes County was added last year as the 17th county served by the CREATE Foundation.
• Dr. Tom Burnham, interim director of the Mississippi Principal Corps, will talk about the value of leadership in education. Burnham twice served as Mississippi’s state superintendent of education, as well as dean of the University of Mississippi School of Education.
Mississippi State University’s College of Education and the Ole Miss School of Education have launched a new Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program. The schools’ deans, Dr. Richard Blackbourn and Dr. Ryan Niemeyer, will describe the joint effort of the two universities.
Written reports of the Northeast Mississippi Regional Profile and the Progress Report on Regional Goals also will be available to those attending the event.
The Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi is a major program component of the CREATE Foundation. It was organized in 1995 and is comprised of 54 leaders from Northeast Mississippi.