School Department News

School of Education

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 8:33am

Hattiesburg, Miss., March 5, 2014 - William Carey University’s School of Education will host the ninth annual Young Authors Celebration (YAC) on Friday, March 7, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. There will be over 400 students from eight area elementary schools at the event, along with their teachers and parents.

 The key note speaker this year is Vaughn Wilson of Vaughn Wilson Photography. Other special guest speakers include Rick Anderson of Clinton, Fluer Bradley of Biloxi, Kym Garraway Braley of Hattiesburg, Dr. Read Diket from WCU, Ginny Kemp of Columbia, Jean Sauls of Columbia, and Diane Williams of Jackson. Scot Jones of Hattiesburg, a local “magician,” will entertain the students as they arrive.

Educators who sign up to be a YAC teacher hold a writer’s workshop in their classrooms, where their students learn about the drafting, editing, and publishing stages of writing and illustrating through hands-on experience. The students bring their books to the YAC event at WCU to share their work. All children who wish to participate are accepted.

YAC began in the 1990s and is funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines. Directed by Dr. June Hornsby, director of WCU student teaching, and Dr. Barry Morris, interim chair for department of curriculum and instruction, YAC gives students the opportunity to meet regional authors and illustrators, tour WCU’s campus, have lunch, participate in a book fair, attend workshops on writing and illustrating, meet WCU student teachers,  and share their books with other students. Sponsors for YAC include Dr. Hornsby, Dr. Morris, WCU Office of Admissions, Barnes & Nobles Bookstore, Phi Delta Kappa, and the Mississippi Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.        

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 1:36pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., February 7, 2014 - William Carey University’s Master’s in Interscholastic Athletic Administration (IAA) program recently received full licensure approval from the Mississippi Department of Education Licensure Commission and the Mississippi State Board of Education. This innovative program is designed for the working professional and is completed over a 15-month period in a cohort format with extensive project and fieldwork experience. It focuses on building competencies in the administrative/business side of managing K-12 athletic and/or private sector sports programs.  

For more information contact the School of Education at (601) 318- 6600 or Dr. Walter Cooper, coordinator at (601) 318-6764 or email

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 3:57pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., January 24, 2014 - Dr. Ben Burnett has been named the Dean of the William Carey University School of Education. Dr. Burnett has served as superintendent of the Lamar County School District since 2008, and has 28 years of experience in the public schools of Mississippi with 26 of those years with Lamar County Schools. He was formerly director of bands and then principal of Oak Grove Middle School. He has also served as an adjunct professor for graduate courses at both Carey and The University of Southern Mississippi.

“Carey has a long tradition of training quality teachers, and we are currently the fourth largest school of education in the state and the largest in a private school,” said Dr. Tommy King, president. “We are so pleased to have Dr. Ben Burnett join our team as dean of the school of education. His experience in the public schools, his knowledge of educational trends and his unquestioned integrity make him an ideal choice to continue the fine teacher education program that has been built by previous deans.”

Dr. Burnett received both his bachelor's and master’s degree in music education and his Ph.D. in educational administration from USM. He is deeply involved in the community, serving as president of Pine Belt Superintendents, on the Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees, on the gifted advisory board for USM, as an executive board member for PREPS of Mississippi, as a board member for Gulf Coast Education Initiative, and as a member of Mississippi School Public Relations Association, among many other activities. He was given the Mississippi School Board Association (MSBA) Beacon Award for Lamar County Schools in 2013, named Lamar Times Person of the Year in 2012, presented the MSBA Lantern Award for Lamar County Schools in 2009, 2010, and 2011, received the Mississippi Gifted Advocate Award in 2011, and was named Mississippi Middle School Principal of the Year, and Teacher of the Year for the Lamar County School District.

“I’m so excited to be able to remain in the field of education,” said Dr. Burnett. “I wouldn’t trade any of the positions I’ve held up to this point for anything in the world, and I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to work in my home district for 26 years. I’m thrilled that I will be able to bring real world experience from the K-12 setting into the college classrooms.”

Dr. Burnett is an active member of Heritage United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Denice, have a son, Lane, who is 15 years old. Denice is the director of student operations for the Lamar County Office of Special Education and Lane is a student at Oak Grove High School.

 “I am looking forward to this new adventure, and I’m excited about a chance to teach more often,” Dr. Burnett said. “I especially look forward to working with the faculty in WCU’s school of education, as they are a very strong team.”

Dr. Burnett will take over the position as dean on June 1.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 9:34am

Hattiesburg, Miss., January 21, 2014 - Dr. Mike Reed, assistant professor of educational leadership at William Carey University, was recently appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to serve as Mississippi’s Commissioner of the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunity for Military Children. The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children was developed by the Council of State Governments, the Department of Defense, as well as education and military family experts.
It enables member states to uniformly address various educational transition issues faced by children of active-duty military families. The mission is for all of the states  to work together to establish uniform standards for entering school, transferring records, course placement, graduation requirements and other common problems that affect military students as a result of frequent moves and deployments.

Before moving to Mississippi, Dr. Reed served as superintendent of Hartselle City Schools in Alabama, and served as Alabama’s Commissioner of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. He was the first person chosen for this position in Alabama, and is the first to serve this role for Mississippi.


Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 3:23pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., January 16, 2014 - Lt. Jody Babineaux of Ellisville, a student in William Carey University’s Master of Art in Secondary Education program and a seventh grade math and social studies teacher at Power Academy in Laurel (an alternative school), was recently awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Educator of the Year award. The award was given by the Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Committee of the Pine Belt, an organization that honors the civil rights leader during the month of January through a series of events celebrating King’s life and dream. Babineaux, was recognized for this honor during the MLK 2014 “Salute to Greatness Banquet” held at The Sanderson Farm Corporate Banquet room January 11 in Laurel.

Babineaux, a native of Lake Charles, La., received the award for going above and beyond as an educator and serving as a positive role model in his community. He was one of several Pine Belt area citizens recognized for their efforts in the fields of social work, entrepreneurship, youth ministry, public service and education. In addition to teaching, he has also worked with young men in the community baseball program, and is involved with the semi-professional baseball team the Laurel Black Cats.

Babineaux was also selected to be a member of the National Troops to Teachers (TTT) program during the fall of 2013. Troops to Teachers is a Department of Defense Program managed by the Defense of Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support in Pensacola, Fla. The Troops to Teachers Hall of Fame was created to honor members of the educational community who have made significant contributions to assist veterans as they transition to the teaching profession.