Dr. Bonnie Oppenheimer, Caroline Greer, Rose Ford

COLUMBUS, Miss.-- Family influences made an impression on Caroline Greer at an early age.

Seeing her father and grandmother put their all into teaching and impact the lives of countless students inspired Caroline to follow the same career path.

Now Greer is blending those influences with the lessons she learned as an elementary education major at Mississippi University for Women in hopes of becoming an inspiration to her students.

Greer’s hard work was recognized earlier this month when she received the Linda Anglin Teacher Preparation Scholarship from the Mississippi Professional Educators (MPE).

“I was thrilled and honored to hear I had received the scholarship,” said Greer, a senior from New Albany. “Receiving this scholarship has allowed me to have the opportunity to purchase resources to help make my classroom an engaging and welcoming learning environment. I am so thankful for Ms. Rose Ford and Dr. Bonnie Oppenheimer’s support and guidance as mentors and fellow MPE members.”

The scholarship is named in honor of Linda Anglin, who was instrumental in the founding of MPE, an independent organization for Mississippi educators. In addition to a $500 award, the scholarship recipient receives a complimentary membership to MPE for their first year of teaching. The scholarship is offered to MPE student members in each of the state’s educator preparation programs each year.

Greer’s grandmother, Barbara Simpson, taught third grade for 31 years at East Union Attendance Center. Even though education has changed greatly since Simpson retired in 1999, Caroline said she wants to emulate her grandmother’s precision to detail and ability to incorporate fun into every-day learning in her classroom.

Caroline’s father, Chris Greer, has been a teacher and coach for 29 years at Lafayette High School, Potts Camp Attendance Center and Myrtle Attendance Center. He has taught a variety of subjects over the years and coached girls and boys basketball, cross country and track and field. Caroline said her father’s passion for teaching and coaching has inspired her for years, and that he is always researching the newest and most innovative strategies he can use to improve his craft.

Greer said being a member of MPE has allowed her to receive numerous educational opportunities and to make connections with educators from various backgrounds. She hopes to parlay everything she has learned into a teaching opportunity in English Language Arts (ELA) or mathematics in any grade, kindergarten through sixth. Greer said her time at The W already has given her valuable experience because she has worked with students in kindergarten and first, second, third and sixth grade in several different districts. As a student teacher at West Union Attendance Center in Myrtle, she worked the first half of this semester in a second-grade classroom and is now working in a sixth-grade classroom.

“I have greatly enjoyed the experience working in the early and upper elementary environments,” Greer said. “I have been blessed to learn from fantastic mentor teachers, Ms. Pam Richards, Mrs. Shannon Tolleson, Mrs. April Vowell, Mrs. Anna Claire Hall and Ms. Kim Bramlitt, who have all modeled for me how to efficiently run an engaging learning environment for all students.”

Ford, an instructor and Jumpstart program site manager in The W’s School of Education, said she recommended Greer for the scholarship because she was one of her most driven students.

“I had Caroline as a student in the early literacy courses,” Ford said. “She gives her all in courses, takes initiative to ask questions and seeks feedback. Her knowledge and skills as a preservice teacher have exceeded expectations for our program’s high quality and standards. She is committed to ensuring her future students achieve success.”

Ford said Greer’s active role in The W’s MPE student chapter reflects her dedication to ongoing learning and professional development. She said Greer has a leadership role as secretary and her skills impact the School of Education program, the campus and the community.

“Her work ethic, love for service and cheerful attitude is valued by faculty and her peers,” Ford said. “I have enjoyed watching her bloom throughout our program. She is going to be awesome in her future classroom. Her students will be blessed to have her.”

Oppenheimer, the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Sciences, met Greer in 2019 when Caroline joined her spring semester MA 111 class, where she said she was the top student in the class.

“She continued to impress me with her understanding of mathematical topics in the fall MA 112 course, on her way to the 4.0 grade-point average she still holds. I am very pleased Caroline is our Linda Anglin Scholarship awardee this year.”

Greer will graduate from The W May 7 and then will get married to Presley Ferguson June 11. She hopes to lead her first classroom in the fall and feels prepared thanks to all of the opportunities and influences she has experienced at The W.

“My organizational skills, my determination to problem-solve until I see growth and my encouraging attitude will push me to be successful in the classroom,” Greer said. “Through my experience interning in the classroom, I have learned to always have a good plan but be prepared and ready to adapt as needed. Through observing and having the opportunity to teach lessons, I learned how important it is to give every student the opportunity and support they need to succeed.”

April 27, 2022
Contact: Adam Minichino
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