Posted in GAP News, Mississippi Art News, Professional Development

The Whole Schools Initiative | Summer Institute

An exciting Summer CEU opportunity from our friends at The Whole School Initiative

Training: Summer Institute

2011 Summer Institute: “Creativity at Work!”

This week of professional development is open to anyone interested in learning in, through and about the arts as well as how to integrate the arts into the total curriculum! Check back here for online registration… opening soon!

The MSU Riley Center – Meridian, Mississippi

July 17-21, 2011

The Whole Schools Summer Institute is funded in part by The Riley Foundation and The Phil Hardin Foundation.

Hotel Information

There are group blocks under Whole Schools Summer Institute being held at the Drury Inn and the newly renovated Comfort Inn, Meridian. School teams and/or individual attendees are responsible for making their reservation and payment for rooms to the hotel of choice.

2011 Summer Institute Instructors

Althea Jerome

Althea Jerome has worked in the field of arts education throughout her career. With work experience in K-12 public schools, university, community arts organizations and statewide arts and education organizations, she has continuously pursued the importance of arts learning.

Andrea Schipke

Andrea Schipke is a 3rd grade teacher at Nora Davis Magnet School, a Model Whole School. Andrea has been teaching for six years, with five of those years being at Nora Davis.

Casey Watts

Casey Watts is a 3rd grade teacher at Nora Davis Magnet School, a Model Whole School. Casey has been teaching for six years, all of which have been at Nora Davis.

Deborah Adero Ferguson

Deborah Adero Ferguson, the Dancing Story Lady, is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and a professional actress, dancer, storyteller and arts educator. Ferguson has studied traditional dance, storytelling and music in Africa and has performed throughout the United States.

Dena Kinsey

Dena Kinsey grew up outside of Memphis in Southaven, Mississippi. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University where she received her degree in Elementary Education. She just completed her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College in Clinton.

Dorothy Spencer

Dorothy Spencer grew up in Grenada, Mississippi. She majored in Special Education at MUW in Columbus, Miss. and later received her Master’s in Elementary Education.

Emilie English

Emilie English is the 8th grade gifted education teacher at Tupelo Middle School. She has taught in the Tupelo Public School District for twenty-one years. She holds a BS degree in Elementary Education Form Mississippi State University and a Masters’ degree from The University of Mississippi.

John Howell

John Howell is the arts facilitator and Whole Schools Project Director at Casey Elementary School in Jackson, MS. He has a background in theatre and worked for three years as an actor and education director at New State Theatre in Jackson.

Julie Owen

Julie Owen lives in Jackson, Mississippi, where her two children attend Jackson Public Schools. When her daughter attended Casey Elementary, a Model Whole School for the MAC, Julie became a parent advocate for arts integration through the Ask4More Arts program of Jackson’s Parents for Public Schools.

Kathryn Lewis

Kathryn Lewis spent the first thirty-two years of her career teaching speech and theatre at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi. During that period, she performed, wrote or directed plays while maintaining her role as Chair of the Fine Arts Department.

Leah Patterson

Leah Patterson is currently a 7th grade art teacher at Tupelo Middle School in Tupelo, Mississippi. She holds her undergraduate, masters, and specialist degree from the University of Mississippi and was recently honored to receive the district’s 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year Award.

Lenore Blank Kelner

Lenore Blank Kelner is an author, educator, educational consultant, keynote speaker and teaching and theatre artist. Lenore has presented her work in all 50 states and abroad and has been a presenter with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for 29 years.

Lisa Geimer

Lisa Geimer is currently the assistant principal and WSI project director of St. Richard Catholic School (PreK3 – Sixth grades) in Jackson, MS. She has worked as a classroom teacher for 20 years in grades 3, 4, and 6.

Marcia Daft

Marcia Daft is the Founder and Artistic Director of “Moving Through Math” and Moving Through Science.” Her company produces and publishes children’s books, instructional materials, and videos that bring arts integrated learning to life in the classroom.

Sarah C. Campbell

Sarah C. Campbell is an author and photo-illustrator who lives in Jackson, Miss. She is the creator of Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator (a 2009 Geisel Honor Book and winner of the Mississippi Library Association’s 2010 Youth Author’s Award) and Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature (selected by the NSTA as a 2011 Outstanding Science Trade Book).

Sheryl M. Thomas

Sheryl M. Thomas is currently a Pre-K teacher at St. Richard Catholic School in Jackson, Mississippi. Her teaching career began over 30 years ago in a third grade classroom.

via The Whole Schools Initiative | Summer Institute.



The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.