Blendinger, Farmer see SRCEA regional honors

The Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration is honoring two faculty members and two recent doctoral graduates from Lowndes and Winston counties, all in Mississippi State's College of Education.

The university group recognized individually for scholarship excellence at the organization's recent 55th annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, included:

-- Jack Blendinger, who received the SRCEA University Honors Award for distinguished service in recognition of his history of encouraging graduate students to become scholars or educational administrators, and for mentoring them in their research activities.

During his long tenure as a professor of educational leadership, Blendinger has helped more than 250 students successfully complete their graduate research projects.

-- Angela S. Farmer, an assistant professor in the leadership and foundations department, who received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Scholarship Award for research on student discipline policies around the world. She also was elected to a four-year term on the SRCEA board of directors, where she will serve as the council's executive conference planner.

Prior to joining the MSU faculty earlier this year, Farmer was educational leadership director at Mississippi University for Women. Previously, she served in a variety of high school teaching and administrative positions in Illinois and Kentucky.

The MSU students recognized included:

-- Leigh Ann Hailey, principal of Fair Elementary School in Louisville, who received the Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award for doctoral dissertation research focusing on the impact that participation in after-school instructional programs have on increasing student academic achievement. In addition to a May doctoral degree in educational administration, she holds master's and educational specialist degrees from MSU.

-- Susan N. Johnson, the Lowndes County School District's special services director, who received an Honorable Mention, also for her doctoral dissertation research.

Specifically, Johnson examined the effects that participation in pre-kindergarten programs have on academic achievement in language arts and mathematics for students as they advance to higher grade levels. Johnson is a 2013 doctoral graduate in educational administration who earlier received an educational specialist degree at MSU.

Founded in the late 1950s, SRCEA works to provide a forum for ideas and discussions of practices and procedures for improving the quality of education at all levels. Its headquarters are located at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

In addition to Mississippi and Georgia, the organization serves professionals in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more, visit

Information about MSU's College of Education is found at

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Victoria Russell | Public Affairs

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