Four Northwest Mississippi Community College employees were recognized as graduates of the 2022 Career-Technical Education Leadership Academy, hosted by the Mississippi Community College Board, during a recent meeting of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges. The year-long program provides CTE educators in administrative positions with practical and hands-on experience in developing leadership skills in a wide variety of areas, including communication, budgeting processes, ethics, legislation, and socioeconomic impacts.
Graduates of the academy include Dr. Barton Allen of Senatobia, program director, Physical Therapist Assistant program; Katie Broadway of Hernando, employer partnership coordinator; Ebone Dukes of Senatobia, program director, Funeral Service Technology and Debra Lenox of Arlington, Tennessee, program director, Respiratory Therapy.
The academy promotes the growth of leadership opportunities among CTE educators in a variety of positions, both faculty and non-faculty. Broadway, who fosters important relationships between the college and area employers offering input into the CTE curriculum in order to ultimately gain skilled workers, was the ideal candidate for the academy, according to Dwayne Casey, associate vice president for Workforce Solutions and Career-Technical Education. “This leadership opportunity provided her with an opportunity to increase her already extensive knowledge of Career-Technical Education, to develop relationships with other CTE leaders across the state, and to continue to develop as a leader in CTE,” he said.
Dr. Stephanie Mullins, dean of Northwest’s School of Health Sciences, believes the faculty graduates, who are all instructors in the School of Health Sciences, have gained valuable insight into best leadership practices that they can utilize in their classrooms. “The faculty who attended the leadership academy demonstrate attributes Dr. Heindl always mentions as quality attributes—hungry, humble and smart,” she said. “Debra excels in meeting program learning outcomes. Her passion is threaded throughout her being, and this leadership opportunity provided an additional source to nourish her growth. Ebone has implemented many new learning activities for our funeral services students, and her influence has impacted the regional funeral service area. Dr. Allen has a calming leadership style with meticulous organizational skills and a desire to identify needs prior to their conception. Northwest is truly blessed to have these wonderful leaders teaching, inspiring, and influencing our students.”
Lenox hopes to use the leadership skills she learned from the academy in her role as program director for one of the college’s most popular programs, Respiratory Therapy. “There are many avenues to becoming a good leader, but the first step starts with you,” she said. “Your leadership skills should influence others to complete the goal under your direction and observation. As a program director, you need the gift of persuasion and optimism to accomplish your goal with the team. The facilitator, Dr. Rick Upchurch, defined good leadership as the necessary tool to reach goals while affirming your position and building trusting relationships.”