Superintendents launch advance mississippi initiative

MASS focus highlights teachers' role to a brighter future for Mississippi

JACKSON ― The future of Mississippi is tied to the success of its teachers. That’s the core message of the new Advance Mississippi initiative led by the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, the state’s leading advocate for quality public education.

Through Advance Mississippi, MASS seeks to rally support to address the state’s most pressing education challenges while encouraging more Mississippians to answer the call to teach.

“Moving Mississippi and our educational system forward starts with strengthening our teacher workforce,” said Dr. Phillip Burchfield, executive director of MASS. “Teachers have always played a central role in building a brighter future for our state. Mississippians deserve schools that provide a world-class education and prepare students for successful futures. We can do that by recruiting more high-quality educators who are incentivized to teach in Mississippi.”

MASS officially launched Advance Mississippi today [January 28] during its 2019 MASS Winter Conference at the Jackson Marriott. With the announcement, MASS marks its 50th anniversary as a champion of public education in Mississippi.

Since its founding in 1969, MASS has grown into a nationally recognized coalition that provides state-of-the-art training and mentoring programs for educators across the state while advocating year-round for improved public schools.

Developing solutions to address Mississippi’s teacher shortage is a top priority for MASS. Advance Mississippi will feature teacher testimonials, success stories and employment trends and statistics to demonstrate the many benefits and rewards of teaching careers.

Pay remains a key factor in attracting more Mississippians to careers in education. Working collaboratively with legislators and state leaders through the years has given MASS an opportunity to influence legislative issues before they become law, including efforts to make Mississippi’s teacher pay more competitive with other states.

Through the Advance Mississippi campaign, MASS also will address school safety and the need for adequate funding, enhanced communication and more robust plans to strengthen security and better protect schools and students.

“There’s no better time to be a teacher,” said Burchfield. “Education majors can look forward to stable careers and choose from a wealth of job opportunities throughout the state. There are so many ways that teachers make a positive difference in society. It’s a rewarding profession for career-minded professionals who have strong connections to Mississippi and their communities.”

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