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World Language Training Livestream
  • Offered by The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and hosted by the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, this training for World Language teachers will introduce the 2016 Mississippi World Languages Framework and the 2017 Mississippi World Languages Teaching Guide. The training session’s topics will include an overview of the organization of the framework and how it supports proficiency-based instruction as well as an overview of the Mississippi World Languages Teacher’s Guide and resources.  This training will include activities, implementation strategies, and suggestions for developing thematic units and model lessons that support the world languages standards.
MSMS and MUW Work Together Making Mississippi's Math Teachers True CHAMPS
MSMS Math Instructor Lauren Zarandona leads a group of Mississippi math teachers at the 2017 CHAMPS program.

MSMS Math Instructor Lauren Zarandona leads a group of Mississippi math teachers at the 2017 CHAMPS program.

COLUMBUS, Mississippi -- The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, in partnership with the Mississippi University for Women, is sharpening the skills of the state’s mathematics teachers.

For two weeks, 66 kindergarten-through-eighth-grade teachers, representing more than a dozen different Mississippi school districts and more than two dozen individual schools, have taken part in CHAMPS (Creating High Achievement in Mathematics and Problem Solving). The program, which is celebrating its fourteenth year, is the result of a partnership between MSMS and MUW’s Office of Innovation and Outreach.

During CHAMPS, teachers from all over the state learn new and exciting practices for mathematics instruction from some of the best math educators in the state and country including MSMS mathematics instructor and Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching recipient, Lauren Zarandona.

“In order to reach every learner a teacher must consider lessons and concepts according to how the student thinks and not how the teacher thinks,” she said. “Many [teachers] were taught that ‘if you follow these steps you will get this answer’ but the way tests are written now, it’s not about a certain set of rules it’s about how you think about the problem, which means your lessons have to provide ways for kids to think rather than just providing something for them to do. So I hope the teachers who have attended CHAMPS walk away feeling challenged to give students something to think about and not just hand them an algorithm.”

CHAMPS participants Hollie Henry and Ashley Grubb. Both are math teachers at Brookhaven, Mississippi's Lipsey School.

CHAMPS participants Hollie Henry and Ashley Grubb. Both are math teachers at Brookhaven, Mississippi's Lipsey School.

Teachers came from all over Mississippi to attend the program. Most were from the Golden Triangle area, but many also hailed from areas including Monroe, Kemper, Lee, and Lincoln counties.

“I’ve loved every minute of [CHAMPS],” said Hollie Henry, a sixth grade math teacher from Lipsey School in Brookhaven, Mississippi. “I’m so excited to get back into the classroom to incorporate the skills and strategies we’ve learned to help our students.”

Ashley Grubb, a fifth grade math teacher also from Lipsey School echoed her colleague’s sentiment.

“There’s so much I’ve learned over the past two weeks,” she said. “If you haven’t had a chance to attend CHAMPS you should really do so.”

Professors and professional educators are not the only ones engaging in the two week event. Also in attendance is CHAMPS volunteer and Lake Cormorant, Mississippi native, Haley Hsu. Hsu is a 2017 MSMS graduate who first learned of the program while serving as a work service student with the MSMS mathematics faculty.

“I think this experience is incredibly enriching,” she said.  “I really love working with these teachers. They are such hard workers.”

Hsu will attend the University of Southern California in the fall.

CHAMPS is open to all Mississippi K-8 math teachers. Applications to next year’s program will be made available on February 10, 2018. A one-day CHAMPS event will also be held on the MUW campus on February 10, 2018. Information about that event and CHAMPS can be found at More information about MSMS can be found at

MSMS World Language Teacher Chosen for Startalk Program
Photo credit: Gary Nguyen

Photo credit: Gary Nguyen

Margaret Mary Henry, Russian teacher at the Mississippi School for Math and Science, is studying at Middlebury College this summer in a special course funded by the U.S. government.

The by-invitation course, from July 12-23 at the renowned language school in Middlebury, Vermont, focuses on the methodology of Startalk, a program launched in 2006 that is managed by the National Security Agency and administered by the University of Maryland’s National Foreign Language Center. The methodology is designed to help foreign language students develop speaking skills sooner. Startalk offers summer programs for both teachers and students in an effort to foster study of 11 languages that the federal government deems critical to U.S. national security and global competitiveness. The on-campus portion of the Middlebury course was preceded by an online class in June that focused on theories of second-language acquisition.

Henry, who majored in Russian at Georgetown University and worked in Moscow from 1992-1999, began teaching Russian five years ago at MSMS, the only high school in the state that offers the Slavic language. A total of six of Henry’s current or former students won scholarships to study Russian in the former Soviet Union this summer.

MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp 2017 - High School Edition

The 2017 MSMS Summer Enrichment Camp was a resounding success. Eighty-nine students from all over the state and country spent the past week living, learning, and playing at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, Mississippi.

Students engaged in leadership activities, participated in fun and stimulating classes, and generally had a good time. Students of one of the camp's classes, Convergent Media, worked all week long to cover what happened at this year's camp. With the help of WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi the students were even able to produce their very own news show about the experience.

This camp was made possible through the generous support of Butler Snow, Cooper Tires, Entergy, the Mississippi Association for Gifted Children, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Cooperative Energy, the Phil Hardin Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.

Wade LeonardComment
Math Art - High School Summer Camp 2017

By: Mykailla Foster, Andie Nanney, and Madison Meeks

The Math Art class at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Enrichment Camp engages campers by teaching them about the math behind famous works of art.

The class is taught by the school’s very own, Lauren Zarandona. The students sharpen their math skills while also broadening their artistic views. The students, within two days, have worked on tessellations, symmetry, and recognizing math in the art around them.

“Hopefully, it will make them see not just the value of learning, but also that it can be fun and enjoyable and maybe draw them to MSMS because it’s very cool,” says Ella Stone, one of the camp counsellors.

While sometimes frustrating, the campers get challenged in ways they do not expect in this class. For more information about this class--or the camp--please visit