MAPE will present the 2018 Renasant Bank Winter-Reed Partnership Award toThe Create Foundation during a luncheon ceremony on Oct. 22 at the BancorpSouth Convention Center in Tupelo.
Founded in 1972, The Create Foundation has a service area of 17 counties and is Mississippi's oldest and largest community foundation. CREATE is committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Northeast Mississippi by cultivating charitable service and by investing effectively in education, community development and quality services for individuals, families and children.
Proceeds from the Winter-Reed Tribute are used to enhance the program services of MAPE, including scholarships for member school districts to send representatives to training events for improving or establishing partnerships, and to increase the number of regional training events offering guidance to schools and community partners.
A Special Honor for Mississippians Devoted to Improving Public Education
The Winter-Reed Partnership Award was launched by MAPE in 2007 to honor the unique bipartisan partnership forged by former Gov. William Winter and the late Tupelo businessman Jack Reed Sr. to advance public education in Mississippi.
Since the inaugural presentation, the Winter-Reed Award has been presented annually to recognize Mississippians who have helped improve and promote public education in the state. Proceeds from the event are used to enhance the program services of MAPE, including scholarships for member school districts to sendrepresentatives to training events.
Jack Reed Sr. and Gov. William Winter in 1981.
Gov. William F. Winter
Gov. William F. Winter
Grenada native William Forest Winter was governor of Mississippi from 1980 to 1984 and was responsible for the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1982, considered the most significant educational legislation enacted in Mississippi since the establishment of the public school system. He has also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives and as State Tax Collector, State Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor. Mr. Winter chaired the Southern Regional Education Board in 1982 and was appointed to President Clinton's Advisory Board on Race in 1997. The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at The University of Mississippi is named in his honor, and he is a past recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award from the National Education Association. At the time of the Winter-Reed Award presentation in March 2007, Mr. Winter practiced law for the firm of Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis, P.A.
Jack Reed Sr.
Jack Reed Sr. (1924-2016)
Jack Reed Sr. of Tupelo was one of the first business leaders in Mississippi to actively promote state-supported public education and the need to keep public schools open. In 1980, Gov. William Winter appointed Mr. Reed chairman of the Special Committee on Public Education, and following the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1982, he became the first chairman of the State Board of Education. In 1989, President Bush named him chairman of the National Advisory Council on Education Research and Improvement. Mr. Reed and his family established a legacy of leadership in civic involvement and community improvement. On its 100th anniversary in 2005, Reed's Department Store was recognized by the State Legislature for serving as "the cornerstone of economic growth and the bedrock of generational success in Tupelo and surrounding areas."
Mr. Reed passed away on Jan. 27, 2016, at his home in Tupelo. A few days later, Sid Salter wrote a column for the Clarion-Ledger that mentioned MAPE's award: "I suspect nothing pleased Reed more than the establishment of the Winter-Reed Award....in 2007. The award honored Reed and former Democratic Gov. William Winter for lifetime service in the cause of Mississippi public education and encourages recipients to continue their work... Reed’s life is a monument to the fact that people can and should work together for the common good — and that such work pays lasting and important dividends."
2017: Dr. Robert Khayat
The 2017 Winter-Reed Partnership Award was presented to Dr. Robert Khayat, chancellor emeritus of The University of Mississippi,
during a luncheon ceremony on Oct. 17 at the Hilton of Jackson. Dr. Khayat led Ole Miss from 1995 until his retirement in 2009 and has established a legacy of leadership in numerous fields throughout his distinguished career, including academics, law, sports and higher education.
“One of the attributes of a real leader is the courage to change things that need to be changed, especially in the world of education,” said MAPE Past President Phil Hardwick. "Robert Khayat showed genuine transformational leadership as chancellor of Ole Miss at a time when others would have preferred the status quo. His memoir, 'The Education of a Lifetime,' should be required reading not only for educators but for anyone in a leadership position. He truly exhibits the spirit of the Winter-Reed Partnership Award."
During his tenure as Ole Miss chancellor, Dr. Khayat was credited with increasing enrollment by 43 percent and bringing more than $100 million in research and development grants to the university. In one of his first acts as chancellor, he arranged for a $5.4 million gift from Jim and Sally Barksdale to establish an honors college. He also established a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Ole Miss and brought the 2008 national presidential debate to the campus.
Gov. William Winter and Dr. Robert Khayat
2016: Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald
The 2016 Winter-Reed Partnership Award was presented to Oleta Fitzgerald, director of the Children's Defense Fund's Southern Regional Office, during a tribute luncheon Aug. 23 at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl. Throughout her extensive career in public advocacy, Fitzgerald has emphasized the role of education in strengthening Mississippi's communities and continues leading efforts to expand access to early childhood education for the region's most vulnerable populations.
“Oleta Fitzgerald has devoted her life to helping people who all too often do not have a voice in our society,” said Phil Hardwick, MAPE president. “For decades she has worked tirelessly to break down barriers to opportunity while ensuring that more Mississippians have access to quality education, healthcare and other fundamental resources that are critical to the future of our schools, our families and our future."
Through her involvement with the Children's Defense Fund, Fitzgerald serves as regional administrator for the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice and principal for the Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) initiative, which has operated in more than 12 Mississippi school districts.
Dr. Clyde Muse, president of Hinds Community College, received the 2015 Valley Services Winter-Reed Partnership Award during a tribute luncheon Sept. 1 at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl. With six decades of service to public education in Mississippi, Dr. Muse's name is synonymous with the state's community college movement. He has played a key role in virtually every milestone in the development of public policy that has benefited students and communities served by Mississippi’s two-year colleges. "Dr. Muse has been a strong leader for Hinds Community College and an effective advocate for improved public education in Mississippi," said Dr. Suzanne Bean, president of MAPE. "He has helped guide legislation that removed barriers and created opportunities for community college students across the state. He also has been a champion for many underserved, first-generation college students and continues to work tirelessly with community leaders to increase access to quality, affordable higher education for all Mississippians."
2014: Dr. Hank Bounds
The 2014 Winter-Reed Partnership Award was presented to Dr. Hank Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education, during a tribute dinner Sept. 30 at the Jackson Convention Complex. Dr. Bounds is a lifelong educator who helped strengthen Mississippi's public-education system at all levels and build bipartisan support for education initiatives designed to move Mississippi forward. After his appointment as Commissioner in 2009, he led strategies to improve the quality of services provided to students in Mississippi's growing university system. Recognizing barriers that many students face in obtaining degrees, he was instrumental in forming statewide coalitions to improve student progress toward degree completion and broaden access for more students to attend Mississippi's community colleges and universities.
Dr. Bounds awarded by Gov. William Winter
2013: Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas
The 2013 Winter-Reed Partnership Award was presented to Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, president emeritus and professor of higher education at The University of Southern Mississippi, during a tribute dinner Oct. 1 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.
In 1975, Dr. Lucas became the sixth president of his alma mater, Southern Miss, launching an era of unprecedented growth and transformation for the university. Over the course of his 22-year tenure, he led the formation of the Teaching and Learning Resource Center, the Center for International Education, the Polymer Science Institute and the Institute for Learning in Retirement.
A founding member of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, Dr. Lucas also was a champion of the university's arts and music programs and twice served as interim president, in 2001 and 2012.
Dr. Aubrey Lucas
2012: Jim and Claiborne Barksdale
The 2012 C Spire Foundation Winter-Reed Partnership Award was presented to Jim and Claiborne Barksdale, Mississippi businessmen whose visionary leadership and philanthropy have strengthened early-childhood literacy and public education.
In 2000, they gifted $100 million to the State of Mississippi to establishThe Barksdale Reading Institute in Oxford, Miss. The joint venture with the MississippiDepartment of Education and the state’s public universities strives to improvereading skills among Mississippi children from birth to third grade.
The generosity of the Barksdale family has facilitated essential partnershipsamong the State Department of Education, Mississippi public schools and thestate’s public universities to implement systemic reform in reading instruction.These partnerships continue to provide a seamless educational focus fromteacher preparation programs to pre-K and public school classrooms designedto dramatically improve the reading skills of Mississippi schoolchildren.
2011: Rep. Robert Clark, Andy Mullins, Dick Molpus, John Henegan and David Crews
Jack Reed Sr., Andy Mullins, Robert Clark, William Winter, John Henegan, David Crews and Dick Molpus
The third Winter-Reed Award was presented to former member of the House of Representatives and Education Chair Robert Clark and the “Boys of Spring” -- Andy Mullins, Dick Molpus, John Henegan and David Crews, a group of young staffers who, along with Gov. William Winter, Jack Reed Sr. and Rep. Clark, took a stand for improved public education. When Mississippi was the only state in the nation that did not offer public kindergarten, this is the team that
engineered the now historical Education Reform Act of 1982, also known as "The Christmas Miracle of 1982." It is still considered the most significant educational legislation enacted in Mississippi since the establishment of the public school system. Their work with Gov. Winter was chronicled in a Southern Documentary Project film, "The Toughest Job: William Winter's Mississippi," released in 2014. Today, these individuals continue in various ways to promote and enhance Mississippi.
Dr. Cathy Grace
2009: Dr. Cathy Grace Dr. Cathy Grace's experiences growing up in rural eastern Arkansas fueled her calling to become a school teacher -- a calling that eventually led to her to Mississippi, where the results of her groundbreaking work in early childhood education continue to resonate. When Mississippi became the last state in the country to require school districts to offer kindergarten in 1985, Dr. Grace led the kindergarten implementation as early childhood coordinator for the state Department of Education. She went on to become founding director of the Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University, where she has led a variety of successful initiatives that have improved both the quality and quantity of early childhood education programs, especially in rural, underserved communities. Dr. Grace's leadership, compassion and deep understanding of the complex issues in her field have been indispensable resources for Mississippi and the nation. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Dr. Grace spearheaded a major effort to rebuild and equip damaged and destroyed early childhood programs in storm-ravaged areas of Mississippi. In 2006, she was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve on the Mississippi Early Childhood Advisory Council. At the time of the Winter-Reed Award presentation in September 2009, Dr. Grace was on sabbatical from MSU to serve as director of Early Childhood Development Policy for the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.
State Sen. Grey Ferris
2008: Sen. Grey Ferris (1946-2008)
Vicksburg native Grey Flowers Ferris worked as an attorney, farmer and cattleman before taking an active interest in public service, particularly in issues related to education. His local involvement began in 1986 when he was elected to the first board of the Vicksburg Warren School District. He served for six years on the board, working successfully to unite the two school systems. In 1992, Grey was elected to the Mississippi Senate and went on to serve two terms. As chairman of the Senate Education Committee, he committed himself to reforming education in rural and underfunded areas of Mississippi. Grey and Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory were lead authors of the Adequate Education Act -- legislation that changed the funding formula for public education and channeled additional resources and funding into the state's poorest areas. Through his service and leadership, Grey sent a clear message that all of Mississippi's children deserve a quality education, and that our state can only be as successful as our public schools. Grey will always be remembered as a devoted family man, a trusted friend, a respected leader, and one of Mississippi's most impassioned and influential advocates for improved public education.