Head of groundbreaking STEAM campus kicks off educ...

Head of groundbreaking STEAM campus kicks off education conference at MTSU

The executive lead principal of the nation’s first STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math — campus for pre-K through 12th grades will deliver the keynote address at an education conference at MTSU. 

Dr. Ryan Jackson

Dr. Ryan Jackson

Dr. Ryan Jackson, principal of the Mount Pleasant School for the Arts in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, will kick off the Professional Educators of Tennessee’s “Leader U” conference, which is slated for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 30, in the Student Union.

Jackson is the executive lead principal of the Mount Pleasant Arts Innovation Zone, the nation’s first pre-K through 12 STEAM campus. The purpose of the “Innovation Zone” is to make sure that all three schools in Mount Pleasant engage their students in those subjects every school day.

Dr. Tim Odegard

Dr. Tim Odegard

Dr. Amy Elleman, Literacy Studies professor

Dr. Amy Elleman

With the theme of “Ensuring Equity and Excellence in Education,” the conference as a whole will welcome teachers from across the state for a day of professional development classes on subjects including diversity, autism, hearing loss, poverty, and English as a second language.

Two members of the MTSU community will direct classes of their own at the conference.

Dr. Tim Odegard, holder of the Katherine Davis Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies and a professor of psychology at MTSU, will conduct a session on “Dyslexia: Identification, Instruction and Accommodations.”

Dr. Amy Elleman, an assistant professor in MTSU’s literacy studies doctoral program, will lead a session on “The Power of Persistence: Promoting Motivation, Self-Regulation and Engagement for Struggling Readers.”

Professional Educators of Tennessee is an association that seeks to “advance the profession through tireless advocacy and professional development,” according to its website,

For more information about “Leader U,” call Bethany Bowman at 615-778-0803, extension 107, or send an email to To register for the conference, go to

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