Join us as we hear from the Mississippi Department of Education’s communication director, Jean Gordon Cook, APR, and marketing director, Corie Jones about the Mississippi Connects Communication Campaign, which won Best of Show in the 2021 PRAM PRism Awards.
Mississippi Connects: Helping Students, Teachers and Families Stay Connected
When COVID-19 caused schools nationwide to shut their doors in 2020, Mississippi public schools struggled to teach remotely. By the official end of the school year, educators and parents agreed remote learning had failed. It was unplanned, had little accountability, and was inequitable because millions of students lacked access to technology.
Learn how the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) turned this failure into an opportunity to equip every public-school student in the state with a computer to learn. After convincing lawmakers to pay for the program, they broke through the jargon- and acronym-heavy worlds of technology and education to tell their clear, compelling and optimistic story about how Mississippi students would continue to learn despite the pandemic.
Jean is an accredited, award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience in public relations, journalism and management. She began her PR career in 2008 at Jackson State University (JSU) after working as a reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and The News-Star in Monroe, La. She taught communication courses at JSU and the University of Louisiana at Monroe and formerly worked as a senior director at New York City’s largest nonprofit serving formerly incarcerated men and women.
A graduate of New York University, Jean earned her M.S. in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She serves on the board of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi Central Chapter, the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education and the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board.
Corie is an award-winning communicator and public relations professional with over 20 years of successful experience in communication, public relations and marketing. After graduating from Mississippi State University with a B.A. in communication with an emphasis in public relations, Corie began her career at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, leading statewide communication campaigns such as Buckle for Life, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Click It or Ticket.
As a young girl, Corie began volunteering at The Center that Loves, a food and clothing pantry for families in need that her grandparents founded in Amory, Miss. From that moment forward, she was dedicated to helping and loving people. Corie has extensive volunteer and work experience with non-profit organizations, educational institutions and faith-based organizations and currently serves on the Board of Commissioners of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service.