Three teachers from the Petal School District have been named to the Mississippi Teacher Advisory Council, where they will work with other teachers from around the state to provide feedback to Carey Wright, the state superintendent of education.
Brandon McClain, Tyler Shows and Tarika Moffett will work on initiatives of the Mississippi Department of Education and the Mississippi State Board of Education to empower teachers to discuss topics critical to their success in the classroom, and to identify new opportunities for the MDE to support teachers in their work. Council members meet with Wright in regional meetings set in north, central and south Mississippi throughout the school year.
McClain, who teaches third-grade special education inclusion at Petal Elementary School, began his teaching career in 2001 as a middle school social studies teacher. He is beginning his 10th year with the Petal School District.
Since coming to the district, Shows has taught at Petal Upper Elementary School, Petal High School and Petal Elementary School. He currently serves as a member of the Social Emotional Learning Team and the special education Professional Learning Community, as well as chair of the Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation Team at Petal Elementary School.
“I am honored and excited to be chosen to be a member of the Mississippi Teacher Council,” McClain said. “Petal School District continues to encourage and promote leadership skills within me and my colleagues.
“This honor is definitely a reflection of the time and resources the district has poured into me to develop professional growth in teaching, leading and serving.”
As a member of the Mississippi Teacher Council, McClain looks forward to the conversations and collaboration between teachers and leaders from around the state as they discuss situations related to education in Mississippi.
“The era we are encountering today in education is new to us all,” he said. “I look forward to providing feedback and listening to innovative ideas as we move forward with important decisions within Mississippi.
“I also want to use this time to sharpen my own leadership skills and educate myself on the issues that face today’s leaders within higher education administration. I have considered future administration endeavors, and this will provide insight for me in potential career pursuits in administration.”
Moffett teaches English and Language Arts at Petal Elementary School. She began her teaching career in 2007, starting as a first-grade teacher at Dixie Attendance Center in the Forrest County School District.
Moffett taught there for nine years before coming to Petal in 2016 and has taught third and fourth grade since coming to the district.
“I am shocked and excited to have been chosen to serve on the teacher advisory board,” she said. “I am honored to be able to serve on this committee and to represent my school and school district. I look forward to being able to work with other educators across the state in providing feedback to our state superintendent.”
Shows, who teaches fifth-grade math at Petal Upper Elementary School, began his career with the school district in 2014.
“I was very excited to be named to the advisory board,” he said. “I’ve never been involved at the state level, so I’m looking forward to exploring new territory.
“I’m looking forward to advocating for teachers at the state level. Education is a rapidly evolving field, and I am excited to see how I can play a role in improving the profession for teachers in Mississippi.”
The Mississippi Teacher Council had grown to almost 400 educators by the 2019-2020 school year, with members representing K-12 classrooms across the state.
“I think it’s a great honor that we have three of our teachers in our district who will be able to serve on an advisory council that will assist with making change across the state,” said Matt Dillon, superintendent of the Petal School District.