Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

EMCC Instructors Get State Awards

East Mississippi Community College Adult Basic Education instructors Geneva Atkins and Melissa Wilson were named co-Teachers of the Year for North Mississippi at the annual Mississippi Adult Education Summer Conference Tuesday in Biloxi. “This is normally an individual award. But Geneva and Melissa are the embodiment of the word teamwork and I’m glad the selection committee was able to see the value of their work. And for the first time, two instructors share the award,” said Jim Bearden, director of EMCC’s ABE program the Launch Pad.

BILOXI – A pair of East Mississippi Community College Adult Basic Education instructors have been named the best in North Mississippi.

Reading, writing and science instructor Melissa Wilson and math and social studies instructor Geneva Atkins are the first pair of instructors to share the North Mississippi Teacher of the Year designation, awarded at the annual Mississippi Adult Education Summer Conference June 4 in Biloxi.

“This is normally an individual award. But Geneva and Melissa are the embodiment of the word teamwork and I’m glad the selection committee was able to see the value of their work. And for the first time, two instructors share the award,” said Jim Bearden, director of EMCC’s ABE program, called Launch Pad.

Wilson echoed Bearden’s comments Thursday.

“We work together as a team in every aspect our job, from scheduling classes to developing effective curricula that will foster success for our students,” she said.

The awards for instruction follow EMCC’s rebranding of its ABE program, based at the Golden Triangle campus, as Launch Pad. The ABE curriculum was retooled and rebranded in October of last year to increase class offerings aimed at passing specific tests.

“ABE has the connotation of being only GED testing and that’s what we’re trying to get away from. It’s basic skills enhancement, ACT prep, WorkKeys prep, industry assessment prep and more,” said Bearden.

Along with the more targeted instruction, the Launch Pad is working to help interested Golden Triangle residents complete their GEDs before the test goes strictly online nationwide in 2014, at which point any partial scores for students who took the test in the past but didn’t pass all sections will be lost. In addition to losing partial scores, the price for online GED testing in 2014 is set to rise to $125.