Mississippi College

Two Professors Join MC School of Education Faculty

June 17, 2013

Britt Dickens would love to hike the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail stretching from Georgia to Maine.

A seasoned teacher, coach and administrator, the Carthage native is now embarking on a new journey taking him to Mississippi College as a professor in the School of Education. He’s getting his feet wet teaching classes this summer on the Clinton campus.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to teach in the wonderful, Christian environment here at MC,” Dickens said. “I felt like that is the direction that God was leading me so I could share my knowledge and experiences with future administrators.”

A former boys and girls cross country coach at Oxford High, Dickens enjoyed taking his teams to participate in competition at the Choctaw Trails in Clinton.

Dickens also served as a teacher and coach at Carthage and Forest high schools and as superintendent of the Philadelphia, Mississippi public schools. More recently, he worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Mississippi and as headmaster of the Regents School of Oxford.

MC’s School of Education is fortunate to have someone with his solid background, from the classroom to the superintendent’s office, says professor Gerald Hasselman.

“Britt really brings all the experiences that typify the education leadership faculty at MC – a strong and successful public school background,” says Hasselman, a former Oxford High principal. “He’s a true practitioner with experiences at a variety of levels. Additionally, he’s a strong Christian family man.”

A 1971 Carthage High graduate, Dickens is an East Central Community College alumnus. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi State University and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 1986. Dickens was named Mississippi’s secondary principal of the year in 2000 when he served as an administrator in the Oxford public school district.

Dickens and his wife, Mary Charles, are Flowood residents and the parents of two children, Harrison, 19, who recently completed his freshman year at Ole Miss, and Kate, 12, who is entering the 5th grade.

Another new professor at the MC School of Education is also a Flowood resident, Sydney Margaret Holbert. She was honored at an Ole Miss convocation earlier this year as the outstanding doctoral student in elementary education at the School of Education. Dr. Holbert was an award recipient in the area of curriculum and instruction on the Oxford campus where she earned her master’s in 2010.

A 2007 Mississippi College graduate, who was active in the Nenamoosha social tribe and student Senate, Holbert is thrilled to be back teaching at her alma mater.

“As a Christian, working in a Christian environment is such a blessing because it gives me the opportunity to openly share my faith and discuss Christianity with those around me,” Holbert said. “I am honored and delighted to be selected to join the faculty at MC.”

Mississippi College is a big part of her family’s DNA. Her parents, John and Dianne Holbert, are MC graduates. Most of her brothers and her two sisters, Joanna and Elizabeth Holbert, attended the Christian university. Her grandfather, Bob Pittman, is an MC alumnus, too. “MC runs in my family and feels like home to me!,” adds the Jackson native who grew up in Long Beach.

Holbert is a former teacher at Lovett Elementary in Clinton.

“I am so excited about Drs. Holbert and Dickens joining our faculty,” says MC professor Cindy Melton, who chairs the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. Both educators are presently teaching summer school “and will be influential and positive additions to our family.”

Photo: Education Professor Britt Dickens

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