2014 Stop the Drop Summit

The 2014 Stop the Drop Summit was held December 11th at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl, Mississippi. The summit featured Jasmine Murray, Miss Mississippi 2014, as the keynote speaker at the event.








Ronnie Agnew
Executive Director, Mississippi Public Broadcasting 




Can I Kick It Summer Institute Projects



Jay Moon
President & CEO, Mississippi Manufacturers Association 



Jasmine Murray, Miss Mississippi 2014
with a special performance of the National Anthem 












Dr. Eric Clark, Executive Director - Mississippi Community College Board
Phil Hardwick, Strategic Planning Facilitator, College Instructor & Author
Dr. Roy Jones, Executive Director - Eugene T. Moore School of Education's Call Me MISTER Program & Associate Professor - Clemson University Department of Educational Leadership
Portia Espy, Director of Community Building - The William Winter Institute
Dr. Louise Davis, Extension Professor and Director of the MS Child Care Resource & Referral Network - Mississippi State University
Toni Kersh, Bureau Director, Office of Compulsory School Attendance - Mississippi Department of Education 




Nita Norphlet-Thompson
Executive Director, Mississippi Head Start Association




Breakout Sessions

Meeting Room 1: The "MLI Way" through Various Educational and Community Initiatives

Amy Berry & Kenya Dotson, JSU Mississippi Learning Institute

We will introduce and explain the initiatives & services offered by the MLI and how they tie into the educational and community engagement/service arenas.

Meeting Room 2: Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi
Dr. Nycole Campbell, Office of the Governor

To provide information on reducing and preventing teen pregnancy and promote youth development in Mississippi; Develop a plan to engage community leaders and youths throughout the State of Mississippi; To build bridges with potential partners through meetings and conferences, Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Meeting Room 3: WHO??? Who are They? Who is Accountable? What "Y'all" Doing?
Donnell Bell, Mississippi Department of Education

Who, what, when, why, and why not will be covered in this session. Why it is important that we tear down the silos and pool our resources together.

Classroom 108: Never Miss A Beat!
Anthony Powell, Delta Health Alliance/Indianola Promise Community

The presentation will demonstrate IPC’s efforts to unite healthcare, education, government, community, and faith-based services to develop a pipeline of resources, from prenatal care through high school and college graduation. The overview will explain how IPC is creating a pathway for students to matriculate through school with the goal of decreasing the high school dropout rates while increasing graduation rates within Indianola.

Classroom 109: The Solution: E3 - Engagement, Exposure, Empowerment
Ramona Williams, Jobs for Mississippi Graduates 

Guest & Speaker Biographies

Jay C. Moon, CEcD, FM, HLM
President & CEO, Mississippi Manufacturers Association

Jay C. Moon is the President and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, the largest and most influential voice for Mississippi manufacturers. The Association represents more than 2,200 manufacturers and associated members.

Jay has over twenty-five years of professional economic development experience in site development, business retention, strategic plan development, financial incentive creation and marketing. Prior to joining the MMA, Jay served as the Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer with the Mississippi Development Authority. During that period, Jay was responsible for the recruitment of many well-known national and international companies to Mississippi. Jay led Mississippi’s successful effort to locate the $1.5 billion, 5,300 employee Nissan Automotive Assembly facility.

Jay is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors. Jay is a Certified Economic Developer. He is the Past Chairman of the International Economic Development Council, the largest economic development organization in the world. Jay is the dean and an instructor with the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. He is the chairman of the Mississippi Workforce Investment Board and the State Longitudinal Data System board. He serves on the board for the University of Mississippi’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence and is the chairman of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. He is a board member with the Japan-America Society of Mississippi. Jay has an undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. 

Dr. Eric Clark
Executive Director, Mississippi Community College Board

Phil Hardwick
Strategic Planning Facilitator, College Instructor and Author 

Recently retired from the John C. Stennis Institute of Government, Mississippi State University, Phil Hardwick is CEO of The Hardwick Company LLC, which provides strategic planning facilitation and leadership training services. He is also Instructor of Management at Millsaps College and a regular Mississippi Business Journal columnist.

At the Stennis Institute he served as state director of the Mississippi Appalachian Higher Education Initiative, a successfully proven educational program that encourages Mississippi Appalachian students to pursue a post-secondary education. His previous positions include Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Mississippi Valley Gas Company and Executive Director of the Mississippi Real Estate Commission.

He is a Past-President of the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education, the Mississippi Main Street Association, the Mississippi Economic Development Council and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

He received his undergraduate degree from Belhaven University and his MBA from Millsaps College. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in State & Local Government executive program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During his military service he was Security Team Leader for Army One, the Presidential helicopter. He is also author of 10 mystery novels. 

Roy Jones, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Eugene T. Moore School of Education's Call Me MISTER Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Clemson University

Dr. Roy Jones is Executive Director for the Eugene T. Moore School of Education’s Call Me MISTER Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Clemson University.

The mission of the Call Me MISTER (acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role-models) South Carolina and National Initiative is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background particularly among the Nation’s lowest performing elementary schools.

Call Me MISTER has received accolades from a broad spectrum of national media and high profile celebrities to include, The New York Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal, ABC World News, National Public Radio (NPR), Associated Press, South Carolina Educational Television, Diverse Issues in Education, Blackamerica Web, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bill Cosby and education journals such as Education Week and Instructor magazine.

Dr. Jones has been cited by many as a thought-leader on the education and mentoring of African American boys. He leads the premiere collaborative in the nation for recruiting, retaining, developing leadership and producing certified African American male elementary school level teachers. The collaborative represents 19 colleges and universities in South Carolina and 8 institutions in six other states. He is a fierce Advocate for promoting and supporting the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as the early pioneers in producing Black Educators. Under Dr. Jones’ leadership, the Call Me MISTER program has generated nearly $7.0 million dollars in direct support for students attending four HBCU’s in South Carolina. In addition, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the Call Me MISTER program $1.2 million dollars in multi-year funding to build a pipeline of African American male teachers in Mississippi in collaboration with Jackson State University.

In January 2013, Dr. Jones and co-author Aretta Jenkins’ book was released entitled, “Call Me MISTER: The Re-Emergence of African American Male Teachers in South Carolina”, which describes the model and the captivating journey of their nationally recognized program.

In 2014, Dr. Jones was the recipient of the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award for Excellence in Dropout Prevention presented at the 26th Annual At-Risk Youth National Forum by The National Dropout Prevention Center.

The Call Me MISTER program was recently presented with the “Literacy Leaders Award” sponsored by the University of South Carolina, School of Library and Information Science and The South Carolina Center for Children’s Books & Literacy.

Dr. Jones was named the 2009 Pacesetter Award recipient by the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.

Prior to beginning his tenure at Clemson in 2003, Dr. Jones was Associate Professor in the Division of Education at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. Dr. Jones served as Chair of the Division of Education during the period Claflin received the distinction of becoming the first historically black private institution in the State to receive the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation.

From 1990 to 1998, Dr. Jones served as Director of Employment for the Charleston County School District and was responsible for the district’s teacher and classified recruitment programs. He has successfully implemented and directed numerous programs in higher education throughout his career.

Dr. Jones received his Doctorate from the University of Georgia, Masters from The Atlanta University and Bachelors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Southern Poverty Law Center

Dreams Inc. Jackson

Get 2 College

Gear Up MS

Jobs for Mississippi Graduates

Army National Guard

Jackson State University

Tulane University


Hinds Community College

Mississippi Center for Justice

US Navy

Parents for Public Schools

Mississippi Arts Commission

United Way of the Capital Area

Boys & Girls Club

Early Years Network

Mississippi Vision Foundation

Jasmine Murray – Miss Mississippi 2014

MPB Foundation

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