Branning receives Excellence in Education Award


Jessica Branning, an English literature teacher at Union Middle School, was honored Friday, March 2, during the Mississippi Association of Educators' inaugural Mississippi Excellence in Education Awards held at the Jackson Convention Center.

Branning received the 2018 MS Excellence in Education Teaching Inspiration Award.

"Although a gifted lecturer, Jessica Branning rarely employs this teaching method as she pushes students to collaborate through various methods such as Socratic Seminar, small group rotations, and student directed learning," said Gala planning committee member Robin Avant who introduced Branning. "Jessica receives this award for building relationships with her students while helping her to give her students amazing experiences through her daily well-oiled machine-like classroom."

"All its many moving parts come together for those rich, wholesome, and deep learning experiences.  Her concern for her students inside and outside the classroom is noted by her attention to the many needs of her students which often includes personally providing their educational materials, clothing, and even food for them," said Avant. "She inspires not only her students, but also her peers, and members of her community."

The inaugural event gathered over 300 educators, education supporters, family and friends to celebrate the achievements of award winners who were nominated by their peers for the recognition.

"It was our honor to recognize a number of Mississippians who have dedicated their lives and careers to making sure our students have every opportunity to succeed to their highest potential," Joyce Helmick, MAE president, said. "We wanted to make sure that the atmosphere of the evening was befitting their status, so we created a formal event to showcase their achievements."

Other individuals recognized were Marshall Ramsey, Excellence in Education Friend of Education Award, award-winning cartoonist and talk show host of Jackson; Lisa Shaw, Excellence in Education Middle School Teacher Award; Jennifer Bourbonais, Excellence in Education Elementary School Teacher Award; Heather Ferrell, Excellence in Education High School Teacher Award, New Albany High School; Colbry Lathan, Excellence in Education, Education Support Professional (ESP) Award, Okolona High School; Vickie McAnally, Excellence in Education Teaching Inspiration Award, Rankin Elementary School; Woodrow Price III, Excellence in Education President's Award; and Dr. Pamela Brace, Excellence in Education Higher Education award, Mississippi State University.