Principals' Institute

Millsaps College Principals' Institute, Learning and Leadership since 1993

Empowered to Lead and to Learn


Hear from principals who've experienced the Principals' Institute...

2018 Principals' Institute Participants

2018 Principals Institute


The Millsaps College Principals’ Institute grew from the vision of a group of Mississippi principals who attended the Harvard Principals’ Summer Institute. They wanted a similar experience available for principals closer to home. Dr. Jeanne Middleton-Hairston, a professor in the Department of Education at Millsaps, explored funding possibilities and in November 1992 the Institute received charter grants from BellSouth Foundation, Mississippi Power Education Foundation, and The Phil Hardin Foundation. The first Summer Institute was held in July 1992. Participants may earn 30 SEMI or 3 OSL credits for full attendance.



2019 Principals' Institute

Sunday, June 9 - Friday June 14, 2019

Sunday, June 9
2:00 p.m. – Registration at Pearl Upper Elementary, 400 Treasure Cove, Pearl, MS 39208
6:00 p.m. – Alumni Dinner with Guest Speakers

Monday, June 10
Eagle Ridge Team Collaboration

Tuesday, June 11
Dr. Anthony Muhammed

Wednesday, June 12
Dr. Steve Barkley

Thursday, June 13
Dr. Mike Murphy

Friday, June 14
Closing Celebration Luncheon

Featured speakers:


Dr. Anthony MuhammadJune 11 - Dr. Anthony Muhammad

Dr. Anthony Muhammad is a much sought-after consultant. A practitioner for nearly 20 years, he has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, and principal, and as a high school principal. His Transforming School Culture approach explores the root causes of staff resistance to change. Muhammad’s tenure as a practitioner has earned him awards as both a teacher and a principal. His most notable accomplishment came as principal of Levey Middle School in Southfield, Michigan, a National School of Excellence, where student proficiency on state assessments more than doubled in five years. Muhammad and the staff at Levey used the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process for school improvement, and they have been recognized in several videos and articles as a model high-performing PLC.


Dr. Stephen BarkleyJune 12 - Dr. Stephen Barkley

For the past 30 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. A prolific published author (Questions for Life: Powerful Strategies to Guide Critical Thinking, Tapping Student Effort: Increasing Student Achievement, Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching, Second Edition, WOW! Adding Pizzazz to Teaching and Learning, Second Edition), his weekly blog, Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud, has evolved into a go-to resource for teachers and administrators all over the world. Barkley has presented at the PSI for the last 10 years and provides insight on the importance of improving school culture through capacity building.


Dr. Michael MurphyJune 13 - Dr. Michael Murphy

Dr. Michael Murphy is a national educational coach, facilitator, and consultant, currently living in San Antonio, Texas. He draws from 41 years of educational experience in urban, suburban, and rural school district settings as he trains and works with teachers, teacher leaders, school leaders, and district leaders across North America. Much of Murphy’s work supports school and district leaders in planning and implementing large-scale improvement initiatives, differentiated instructional practices, the design and implementation of instructional coaching systems, visioning, understanding change and its effect on people, evaluating school improvement progress, designing exceptional professional learning, and facilitating learning in how to engage people in productive, relationship-rich, results-based conversations. He has published numerous articles in national journals and is a contributing author or lead author for four educational books. Murphy’s last publication was “Leading Differentiation: Growing Teachers Who Grow Kids”, co-authored with Carol Tomlinson in 2015.



Our Mission

The Principals’ Institute, housed in the Education Department at Millsaps College, is committed to the personal and professional growth of principals as educational leaders in order to improve the quality of education, increase support of school principals, and benefit all children in our schools.



Previous Principals' Institute National Speakers

Dr. Stephen BarkleyDr. Stephen Barkley

For the past 30 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. A prolific published author (Questions for Life: Powerful Strategies to Guide Critical Thinking, Tapping Student Effort: Increasing Student Achievement, Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching, Second Edition, WOW! Adding Pizzazz to Teaching and Learning, Second Edition), his weekly blog, Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud, has evolved into a go-to resource for teachers and administrators all over the world. Barkley has presented at the PSI for the last 10 years and provides insight on the importance of improving school culture through capacity building.


Alan M. BlanksteinAlan M. Blankstein

Award-winning author and educational leader, Alan Blankstein served for 25 years as President of the HOPE Foundation, which he founded and whose honorary chair is Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A former “high-risk” youth, Alan began his career in education as a music teacher. He worked for Phi Delta Kappa, March of Dimes, and Solution Tree, which he founded in 1987 and directed for 12 years while launching Professional Learning Communities beginning in the late 1980s. He is the author of the best-selling book Failure Is Not an Option®: Six Principles That Guide Student Achievement in High-Performing Schools, which received the Book of the Year award from Learning Forward. Alan is Senior Editor, lead contributor, and/or author of 18 books, including Excellence Through Equity with Pedro Noguera, (In Press). He also authored some 20 articles in leading education print including Education Week, Educational Leadership, The Principal, and Executive Educator. Alan has provided keynote presentations and workshops for virtually every major U.S. Ed Org, and throughout the UK, Africa, and the Middle East. Alan has served on the Harvard International Principals Centers advisory board, and the Jewish Child Care Agency, where he once was a youth in residence.


Dr. John W. HodgeDr. John W. Hodge

Dr. John W. Hodge is president and co-founder of Urban Learning and Leadership Center (ULLC), an organization focused on student achievement and reduction of the achievement gap. He has served as a reading teacher, English teacher, AVID teacher, Assistant Principal and Associate Director of AVID Center Eastern Division. He served as Director of An Achievable Dream Academy, an inner city school that piloted many of the interventions used by Urban Learning and Leadership Center. An Achievable Dream Academy is a high performing, high poverty school that has received numerous national awards.

Dr. Hodge's career has been defined by assisting students and teachers overcome obstacles and achieve goals. He has served as an inspirational speaker across the United States and has been a guest lecturer at Christopher Newport University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University and The George Washington University. Dr. Hodge is a trained facilitator for the (SREB) Leadership Initiative Modules “Leading Assessment and Instruction” and “Creating a High Performance Learning Culture”, and a trained assessor and facilitator in the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) “Developing the 21st Century Principal” program.

Prior to starting his career in education, Dr. Hodge distinguished himself in the service of our country with the 7th Infantry Division of the United States Army.


Principal Baruti KafelePrincipal Baruti Kafele

Based on Principal Kafele's best selling book, Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success, Principal Kafele asserts that the various gaps in student achievement continue to rank amongst the most important discussions in education today. Equally important for educators is the continued lack of student motivation, undesirable student behaviors and apathy towards achievement across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines. In this high-energy, interactive workshop, Principal Kafele argues that one of the greatest difficulties to closing the various achievement gaps is the overwhelming assumption that achievement is in fact, the problem. He says that the achievement gap is a consequence of the failure to adequately address what he calls, the Attitude Gap (the gap between those students who have the will to strive for academic excellence and those who do not) that continues to persist in American classrooms.


Principal Salome Thomas-ELPrincipal Salome Thomas-EL

"Every child needs someone to be crazy about them." These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher, principal, and nationally recognized educator. They shape his lifelong commitment to answering the question, "How do we ensure that every child achieves their greatest potential?" This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success: poverty, violence, neglect, and low expectations.

For over 20 years, Principal EL has taken on this challenge with the absolute belief that every child can and will learn as long as adults in their world care enough to not give up. Starting as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School and through his years as principal at several traditional public and charter schools, Thomas-EL has transformed the attitudes and strategies of school staff, parents, and members of the community to help hundreds of troubled children not only graduate from high school but go on to earn higher degrees from major colleges and universities. He is currently the Head of School at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware. Principal EL received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. He was a regular contributor on the first season of The Dr. Oz Show and is the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay, about his Vaux Middle School experience, and The Immortality of Influence (foreword by Will Smith), which stresses the importance of leadership, mentoring, parenting, and service to others. The Walt Disney Company has optioned the movie rights to I Choose to Stay.

Thomas-EL speaks to groups across the country and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR. Principal EL recently appeared on The Oprah Radio Network and was recognized by Reader's Digest as an "Inspiring American Icon."


Fall 2018 - Spring 2019 Leadership Development One-Day Workshops for Principals, Assistant Principals, and School Administrators

All workshops are 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and located in the Campbell Conference Center at Millsaps College.

Workshop A - September 20, 2018
Workshop B - October 10, 2018
Workshop C - November 15, 2018
Workshop D - December 6, 2018    
Workshop E - January 10, 2019
Workshop F - February 7, 2019


Workshop A - "Putting the Pieces Together: Preventing Schools from Being Data-Rich But Information Poor"

September 20, 2018

Presenter: Dr. Tim Martin, Superintendent, Clinton Public Schools

In this first workshop in the series, "Putting the Pieces Together: Preventing Schools from Being Data-Rich But Information Poor", participants will be exposed to what it means to be a data-driven school or district. Real world experience along with research-based insight will be shared to give a deep understanding of the accountability process in Mississippi. Hands-on practice will also be utilized to allow participants the opportunity to analyze, prioritize and create an improvement plan from simulated data. School leaders will also review their current plans of improvement to determine whether the strategic planning process in place is a tool that will improve student achievement (actions that add value) or an end in itself. Administrators will be presented with strategies for consistent monitoring and evaluation of these plans and most importantly, leaders will become confident in the implementation of their strategic plans with the confidence that their professional practices truly will influence student achievement.


Workshop B - "Crucial Conversations with Teachers to Improve Instruction and Student Achievement"

October 10, 2018

Presenter: Dr. Donna Boone

In this second workshop, entitled "Crucial Conversations with Teachers to Improve Instruction and Student Achievement", Donna will assist administrators with understanding the definition of a crucial conversation, identifying the skills needed to have a crucial conversation, and how to handle a conversation that turns crucial.  Dr. Boone will assist administrators on how to have conversations with teachers based on teacher practices and skills that affect student achievement by improving instruction. Administrators will be given instruction on how to develop teacher improvement plans that can be applied in their school setting.


Workshop C - "Developing a Culture of Excellence"

November 15, 2018

Presenter: Charlotte Seals, Assistant Superintendent, Madison City Schools

In this third workshop, Charlotte will conduct a presentation on "Developing a Culture of Excellence" - Participants will discover the critical elements for creating and sustaining a culture of excellence within the school.  Learn about school culture and staff culture, two important aspects that are critical ingredients for building academic success. She will provide a hands-on experience for participants in which each will be able to evaluate a school environment and use effective strategies to make changes for improvement. 


Workshop D - "Ethical Decision-Making"

December 6, 2018

Presenter: Dr. Tommye Henderson

In this fourth workshop, Dr. Henderson will address the issue of the importance of "Ethical Decision-Making". Administrators have many ethical decisions they have to make so knowing and following the ethical code of conduct must become an important part of a school administrators' daily decision-making as they deal with employee issues. Dr. Henderson will give participants scenarios in which they will decide how to handle various real-life work situations. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about situations. Dr. Henderson will be able to share a wealth of knowledge from her experiences as an administrator.


Workshop E - "The 21st Century Leader"

January 10, 2019

Presenter: Thomas Murray

This fifth workshop will focus on "The 21st Century Leader" which is Thomas Murray's area of expertise. He will share strategies on how principals can lead their staff on the needs of students for success for the 21st century so they are future ready. He will share strategies for how principals can support teachers with the effective use of technology and empower them to create learning environments and experiences in which technology can be used to explore, design, and create a maximized return on instruction.


Workshop F - "Legal Issues in Schools"

February 7, 2019

Presenter: Jim Keith, Attorney, Adams and Reese, LLP

This sixth workshop entitled "Legal Issues in Schools" will assist administrators in making legally informed decisions regarding the day-to-day operations in schools. Participants will be able to develop skills to manage and handle parent conferences, teacher situations, parent-teacher situations, principal-teacher, and teacher-student situations effectively and within the legal boundaries required. A question and answer time will be provided to cover issues related to individual school districts. Participants will develop a plan to implement in their schools using this legal advice to address any individual school concerns.


Workshop Goals 

At the completion of a workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. develop evidenced based strategies to enhance student learning in their own school as evidenced on student assessment reports;
  2. develop evidence based strategies to facilitate effective change in the school climate for optimal learning;
  3. acquire skills that will close the achievement gap for all students;
  4.  acquire skills needed to create an optimal learning environment for diverse learners;
  5. acquire skills needed to build a capacity of student learning by motivating teachers and students;
  6. acquire skills needed to make legally informed decisions of day-to-day school operations.

Full attendance is required by MDE to obtain semi or osl credits. You will only be given credit for time in attendance of workshops. (This includes time spent out of workshop on phone.)



Workshop Speakers

Dr. Donna BooneDr. Donna Boone

Donna Boone is the superintendent for the Forrest County Agricultural High School District and is also on the Advisory Board. She has held positions in education across K-16 in Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. She has served as a teacher, building administrator, professor, consultant, director, superintendent, and project manager. Dr. Boone holds a BS from the University of Central Florida, a Master's degree from Mississippi College, and a PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been recognized as Teacher of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Distinguished Service Award for Central Office Staff, and a Georgia Educational Celebrity and has served on numerous local and state committees. She is a former participant of the Millsaps Principals' Institute in 1999 and serves on the Millsaps Principals' Institute Advisory Board. Dr. Boone is committed to helping each student realize his/her full potential by building the capacity of all of those around her.


Tommye C. HendersonTommye C. Henderson

Tommye Henderson currently works for the Mississippi School Boards Association as the Superintendent Search Consultant and as a trainer and a facilitator. She retired from Mississippi College in 2017 after teaching in the Educational Leadership Department for nine years. She also served as the Coordinator for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. She taught classes at the master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels.

In her former life in the public schools, she was superintendent of the Clinton Public School District for nine years. The district was a top achieving district during her tenure. During her 37 ½ years in education, she worked in eight different school districts. She taught every grade one through 12 (except grade 8) and served as an assistant superintendent, principal, and assistant principal. She has also been a Personnel Director, Grant Writer, Public Relations Director, and Staff Development Coordinator.

Dr. Henderson holds a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a M.Ed. in Elementary Education, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University.

She is a former president of the Mississippi Association of School Administrators and was selected as the MS Superintendent of the Year in 2008. She has been the college and university representative on the AdvancEd Advisory Board since 2009. She recently received the 2018 Excellence in Education Award from AdvancEd which recognizes one individual in each state who has demonstrated unparalleled leadership in promoting and advancing excellence in leadership.

She is a member of Clinton First United Methodist Church where she serves as Chair of the Safe Sanctuary Task Force.

She is married to Tom Henderson. They reside in Clinton and have two adult daughters, Corley and Hollye.


Jim KeithJames "Jim" Keith

James "Jim" Keith has been practicing law since 1982. He joined Adams and Reese in 1996 and practices in the areas of employment, education and administrative law. A focused aspect of his practice involves the representation of educational entities, including school districts, community colleges and universities. He has contributed to the expansion of the Education practice across the firm. Mr.Keith presents in Mississippi and nationwide on issues involving the education of students with disabilities and other education topics. He has authored several special education articles and has contributed to national publications involving the education of students with disabilities. He advises universities and colleges on issues involving student rights. In 2006, Mr. Keith was awarded the Mississippi Association of School Administrators 2006 "Friend of Education" Award in appreciation of his dedicated support of public education.

In 2008, he received the Mississippi School Boards Association "Friend of Education" recognition for his work representing school districts throughout the State of Mississippi in State and Federal courts. This included employee matters, student issues, board/administration interaction and education of students with disabilities.

Mr. Keith is a Mississippi Bar Foundation Fellow. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University in 1971, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1982.



Dr. Tim MartinDr. Tim Martin

Dr. Tim Martin is the Assistant Superintendent of the Clinton Public School District in Clinton, MS. He previously served as a principal and assistant principal at the middle school level in Clinton, Jackson Public and Grenada School Districts. His teaching experience was at the middle school level teaching social studies. His school district has consistently remained at the highest academic level in the state for many years partially due to his leadership. He is a former participant of the Millsaps Principals' Institute of 1997.


Tom MurrayTom Murray

Tom serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready SchoolsⓇ, a Project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, located in Washington, D.C. He has testified before the United States Congress and works alongside that body and the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered, personalized learning while helping to lead Future Ready SchoolsⓇ and Digital Learning Day.

Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named the “2018 National/Global EdTech Leader of the Year,” the “2017 Education Thought Leader of the Year,” one of “20 to Watch” by NSBA, and the “Education Policy Person of the Year” by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. His latest book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today, is an ASCD best seller and was published in 2017.


Charlotte SealsCharlotte Seals

Currently, Ms. Seals serves as Associate Superintendent of the Madison County School District, where she has been for 27 years. Previously, she has taught high school and middle school science as well as the roles of assistant principal and principal at the middle and elementary levels. She has a vast array of knowledge in the K-12 learning environment which she willingly shares with other educators across the state. She is proud to be a graduate of Millsaps College and has served on the Millsaps Principals' Institute Advisory Board for many years. In addition to these responsibilities, she is a wife and mother to two precious children.



Register Today!

Register for the Principals' Institute One-Day Workshops, Fall 2018-Spring 2019. 

Register for the Principals' Summer Institute, June 9-14, 2019.

Space is limited.

Priority will be given to early registration. Early registration is $900 and must be received before February 15, 2019. Groups of three or more from one district may register early for $850
per person. All registration does not include lodging. After February 15, 2019, registration is $1,000 per person. All registration will be confirmed electronically after receiving a completed two-page registration form with check or purchase order from the school district.

Return registration form with a check (checks must be received by May 4, 2019 and made payable to Millsaps College Principals’ Summer Institute), or a purchase order form to:

Millsaps College Principals’ Institute
c/o Cindy Martin, Ed.S., Director
Box 150082
1701 North State Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39210-0001

Office: 601.974.1354
Cell: 601.331.1744
Fax: 601.974.1397


Cancellation Policy: Full refund if cancelled before April 5, 2019. Cancellations after April 5 and before May 10, will be given 50 percent of the fee back. All cancellations after May 10 require full payment without a refund.





Bronze Sponsor



Amethyst Sponsors




Find out more about sponsor levels.


Advisory Board

Teresa Duke, Chair
Federal Programs, Clinton Public School District

Dr. Lynnette McNeil, Chair
Principal (Retired), Oakdale Elementary School

Jarrod Bohannon
Principal, Baxterville School

Dr. Donna Boone
Superintendent, Forrest County Agricultural High School District

Dr. Greg Carlyle
Principal, Heritage Academy

Wendy Clemons
Executive Director, Office of Secondary Education and Professional Development, Mississippi Department of Education

Dr. Tracey Gregory
Assistant Principal, Terry High School


Dr. Sara Harper
Principal, McWillie Elementary School

Bobby Hathorn
Principal (Retired), Clinton Public School District

Xavier Hodo
Principal, Leflore County High School

Chris Perritt
Principal, Germantown Middle School

Charlotte Seals
Assistant Superintendent, Madison County School

Temeka Shannon
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Aberdeen School District

Dr. Catherine Wasson
Professor, Belhaven College


Contact Us

For more information regarding any of these programs and sponsorships, contact Cindy Martin, Director of the Principals' Institute, at 601.974.1354.