Grant creates fellowship for administrators

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

CLEVELAND – A new scholarship program will support Mississippi school leaders with training experiences and educational resources.
The Iuka-based Tri State Educational Foundation recently awarded Delta State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences an annual grant of $27,000 to fund two Ferguson Fellows annually.
Each fellow will receive $12,000 to cover various expenses related to bettering their craft, such as attendance at conferences and training sessions, travel and educational materials. The funds also will cover the tuition costs of two courses.
The application deadline for the first group of fellows is June 26. The process includes a portfolio identifying a single relevant issue the school administrator would address throughout the course of the year by using the funds. It also includes a personal interview.
Interested applicants should contact Joe Garrison, chair of DSU’s Division of Teacher Education, Leadership and Research at (662) 846-4400 or to start the process.
The Tri State Educational Foundation was co-founded in 1999 by Bob and Sylvia Ferguson, natives of New Albany who currently live in Iuka. It has since provided more than $6 million in scholarships and grant money to support the educational needs of students who are residents within a 50-mile radius of Iuka.
The Ferguson Fellow program will be for principals in north Mississippi, with preference given to Northeast Mississippi.
“We want to give them the opportunity to see what is happening in other parts of the country and in other types of school districts,” Sylvia Ferguson said.
The Fergusons are both former educators, and Bob Ferguson served as superintendent in Tishomingo County, Long Beach and Picayune. He said the opportunities he had to travel and study best practices in education as a Ford Foundation Fellow early in his career made a lasting impact and he wants others to have those opportunities.
The fellows’ work will be monitored in the three-hour course each semester and during quarterly meetings with mentors.

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