2015 American Graduate Summit

December 15, 2015
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Clyde Muse Center, Pearl, MS

MPB holds a yearly summit, bringing educators, parents, and students together for an in-depth look at the dropout crisis in Mississippi. The summit aims to educate parents and educators on dropout prevention methods, engage their students, and focus on getting students to not only graduate, but to become productive members of the community. Students share their stories, discussing factors that impact the decision to stay in school and engage each other and the community in the search for a solution to the dropout crisis.

Watch Excerpts from the 2015 Summit


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Steve Perry 

Photo Profile.jpgRevolutionizing Education in America 

Dr. Steve Perry has become a national icon in the education revolution, a change agent who is tireless in his fight for providing equal and competitive opportunities for children who otherwise would not have a voice. His mission is simple, high-quality education with college bound opportunities for children in poverty. It is his belief that in order to best educate a child you must treat them and their family as your family. He exemplifies this practice throughout his work in schools and with school communities throughout the country.

Dr. Perry's commitment to excellence started as former principal of what U.S. News and World Report has cited as one of the top schools in the country, Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut. Capital Prep has sent 100% of its predominantly low-income, minority, first generation high school graduates to four-year colleges every year since its first class graduated in 2006.   Subsequently this success led him to start Capital Preparatory Schools in 2012 with the objective to open schools that provide as many low income students/families with an educational experience that he considers a right not just an opportunity. 

As head of schools, Dr. Perry has been instrumental in advocating for, developing and opening the Capital preparatory Harbor School in Bridgeport CT, for the 2015-16 school year.   His organization will also be opening the Capital Preparatory Harlem School, in the 2016-17 school year and will continue to open high quality, high performing schools.

Dr. Perry is completely committed to closing the educational inequities that plague our youth and families in low income communities.   He considers the current state of education as being in crisis and when he speaks it is a call to action to ignite an urgency to save the children.  His words are personal, brilliant and heartfelt, motivating people throughout the country to take action and become active in the educational reform to save their communities.  His passion, advocacy and commitment to education can also be seen through his additional works; CNN's Black in America series, Education Contributor for CNN and MSNBC, an Essence Magazine columnist, and host of the #1 docudrama for TVONE “Save My Son.” He shares his keys to success and calls to action in his latest best-selling book, “Push Has Come To Shove: Getting Our Kids The Education They Deserve – Even If It Means Picking A Fight.”


Carey M. Wright, Ed.D.

Dr. Carey Wright official.jpg Dr. Carey M. Wright is the State Superintendent of Education for Mississippi.  She previously served as the Chief Academic Officer and the Deputy Chief for the Office of Teaching and Learning for the District of Columbia Public Schools and as the Associate Superintendent for the Office of Special Education and Student Services for the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland.  Dr. Wright spent the majority of her career in Howard County Public Schools as a teacher, a principal, and the Director of Special Education and Student Services.  She began her career as a teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland.

Dr. Wright has been recognized as an outstanding educator by the National Center for Culturally Responsive Systems, nominated twice for The Washington Post Outstanding Principal Award, and awarded the Howard County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator of the Year.  

Dr. Wright obtained her bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.  



8:00 - 8:30Sign-in/Breakfast/Exhibitor VisitsLobby/Auditorium
8:30 - 8:45Welcome
Ronnie Agnew
Executive Director, Mississippi Public Broadcasting
8:45 - 9:15Opening Remarks
Maggie Stevenson
Deputy Executive Director for Education, Mississippi Public Broadcasting
9:20 - 10:20Morning Keynote Address
Dr. Steve Perry, Head of Capital Prep Schools
10:20 - 11:10Panel Discussion
Dr. Ralph Didlake - University of MS Medical Center
Malcolm White - Mississippi Development Authority
Ramona Williams - Jobs for Mississippi Graduates
Dr. Germaine McConnell - Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
Dr. Kameron Ball - C Spire
 Student Breakout
Prince Duren, Jackson State University
Katrina Emery, NASA John C. Stennis Space Center
Meeting Rooms
11:10 - 11:30Exhibitor VisitsHallway
11:30 - 1:00Luncheon Speaker
Dr. Carey Wright, Mississippi Department of Education
 Recognition of American Graduate Champions
Maggie Stevenson
 Student Breakout continued
Prince Duren, Jackson State University
Katrina Emery, NASA John C. Stennis Space Center
Meeting Rooms
1:00 - 1:30Closing Remarks/Exhibitor VisitsAuditorium/Hallway


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