Charlie Alexander has worked for over 34 years as a practicing architect and has over 41 years of total architectural experience, having served as Principal-in-Charge, Project Architect, Project Manager, and Owner’s representative on numerous projects throughout the continental United States.
A 1973 graduate of Auburn University, he spent his early career in Birmingham, relocating to Jackson in 1990. He is currently a registered architect in Mississippi and Florida and holds an NCARB certificate. He has been a Partner at Dale Partners Architects, P.A. since 2005. He has also taught in the 5th year architecture program of Mississippi State University.
Charlie has provided his design, management and construction administration expertise on a large variety of projects that include corporate, healthcare and educational facilities.
Notable projects include the Corporate Headquarters for Alabama Power Company in Birmingham, Olin Computer/Mathematics Building at Birmingham Southern, the Woolfolk State Office Building, the William Winter Archives and History Building, the Walter Sillers Office Building and Parking Structure, the Mississippi Braves Stadium and the Jackson Convention Center.
Charlie is active in the community, previously involved in Muscular Dystrophy Association, Make a Wish Foundation, and Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Chapter of the AIA. Charlie has been on the Board of Magnolia Speech School since 2005.
He is married to Cindi Alexander and they live on the Reservoir in Brandon. They attend and are very active in First Presbyterian Church of Jackson.
Brooks is a graduate of Baylor University and Baylor School of Law. He has practiced law in Jackson, MS, and Dallas, TX, and was associated with Butler Snow Law Firm for 18 years. He is President and Chief Operating Officer of EnviroTurf.
Brooks brings over 20 years experience in business and law to EnviroTurf. He has experience in business ownership and management, as well as extensive leadership and direction in fundraising campaigns for non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Brooks has extensive involvement in our community, including service as board member and past President of Magnolia Speech School, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of MS, and service on the boards of Jackson Preparatory School, the Rotary Club of Downtown Jackson, and the Metropolitan Jackson YMCA.
Brooks is married to Holly and they have three children – Britt, Ryan and Holman. They reside in Jackson where they attend First Baptist Church.
Donna Kaye Byrd, Interior Designer, spent 30 years with Navarro-McLean until the company closed in 2009. For the past two years she has been a self-employed designer.
Donna Kaye has served on the board of Magnolia Speech School for 15 years, serving on many different committees, and is also past President. Donna Kaye is a member of the Madison Ridgeland Junior Auxiliary and has served on PTA Executive Boards at Madison Middle and Rosa Scott schools. In 2008, she started Hope Hollow Ministries, a camp for children and young adults with special needs in Madison and currently serves as President of their Board of Directors.
Her daughter Amanda, now 18 years old, was born with a viral infection, CMV, resulting in profound hearing loss bilaterally, mild cerebral palsy, and developmental delays. She attended Magnolia Speech School for 5 years and is currently in the 11th grade at Madison Central High School. Her daughter Melissa, 20, is a junior at Mississippi State University.
Donna Kaye has been married to Robert Byrd for 25 years and they attend Broadmoor Baptist Church.
Liz Carroll graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts and then graduated with a degree in Political Economy from the Murphy Institute with an emphasis in Latin American Studies.
Liz has more than 20 years experience in the fields of media, communications and public affairs. Carroll Communications Consultants represents clients in the areas of banking and finance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, telecommunications, municipalities, government agencies and political campaigns. Work includes earned media, media advocacy and strategy, coalition development, key influential coordinated campaigns, event coordination, public/media relations, message development and multi-media presentations.
She has 2 children and is an active communicant of the Chapel of the Cross, where she served as senior high youth coordinator for 3 years.
Liz serves her community through the following organizations: The Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi Symphony League, Mississippi Children’s Museum Committee, and serves in a leadership capacity for the Greater Jackson Arts Council, Jackson Downtown Rotary, Mississippi Boys’ and Girls’ Club.
Dr. Carron graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1995, where he was class president and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He then completed a residency in otolaryngology - head and neck surgery - at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, followed by a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Since joining the faculty at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2002, he has established the first cochlear implant program and the first bone-anchored hearing aid program at UMMC. His diverse pediatric otolaryngology practice includes pediatric ears, tonsils and adenoids, neck masses, sinuses, and airway problems. He has also been active in a wide variety of research projects and has presented at several national meetings.
He and his wife Lisa spend quite a bit of their free time at the baseball and soccer fields with their sons C.J. and Andrew. They reside in Ridgeland and attend St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Gluckstadt.
Noel was raised in Northeast Louisiana and attended NE Louisiana University and Louisiana Tech University. He is co-owner of Joe Usry Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Jackson.
Along with his success came his entrepreneurial spirit and determination to give back to the community and make a difference. Noel is an active member of the Rankin County Rotary Club, Hinds Community College Development Foundation and President of the Rankin First Economic Development Authority and Foundation. He has held Chairman positions with the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, Metro Economic Development Alliance, and the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission. He serves on the Advisory Board of River Oaks/Crossgates Hospital and is a Board member of the Dixie National Sale of Champions. Other past affiliations include Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and Nature Conservancy of Mississippi, United Way Board of Directors and past President American Cancer Society of Rankin County.
Some of the awards Noel has received are the Mississippi Power & Light Community Leadership Award, MS. Industrial Volunteer of the Year/Southern Economic Development Council, Boy Scout Hope Award and Outstanding Volunteer Goodwill Salute.
Noel and his wife Stephanie reside in Brandon and are active members of Brandon Baptist Church. They have two daughters and three grandchildren who all live in Jackson.
Tommy Darnell serves as Hinds County President for BancorpSouth, a position he has held since June of 2003. In this capacity, he has oversight of BancorpSouth’s Premier Banking division, Commercial/Corporate and Real Estate Lending divisions, and Retail Lending division. Prior to joining BancorpSouth, Darnell worked for Trustmark National Bank in Jackson from1972-2003 in a series of positions including serving as Executive Vice President and managing their Commercial Lending division.
While at Trustmark, he was a member of committees such as the Director’s Credit Policy Committee, the Tennessee Credit Quality Review Committee, and Management and Administrative committees. Darnell has a total of 39 years of banking experience.
Tommy is involved in many community activities and is currently serving on several boards including Magnolia Speech School – Past President, Metro YMCA, and Louisiana State University’s Graduate School of Banking. In the past he has served on the boards of such organizations as Rotary Club of Downtown Jackson, Christ United Methodist Church, Mississippi Opera Association, St. Dominic Community Advisory Board, and Jackson Academy.
Darnell received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Banking and Finance from Mississippi State University and his Masters of Business Administration from Mississippi College. He received his Basic and Standard Certificates from the American Institute of Banking, and completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University as well as the American Banker’s Association National Commercial Lending School’s Undergraduate and Graduate programs.
Darnell and his wife, Lisa, have one child, Alise, and attend Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson.
Ted Dearman is Senior Vice President of The Yates Companies. A native Mississippian, Ted graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.S. degree in Industrial Management and further course study in the Wharton School of Management Executive Development program.
Ted has served in many roles that support education, including the University of Southern Mississippi Construction Technology Advisory Board and Magnolia Speech School Board of Directors. Ted has also been active throughout his business career in business development in Mississippi, serving on the board of directors of the Madison County Foundation, membership in the Madison County and Jackson Chambers of Commerce, and President, Mississippi Association of Builders and Contractors, Board of Directors and National Board of Directors.
Mr. Dearman is a member of the Clarion-Ledger Reader Editorial Board and a writer and photographer with photos exhibited at various venues, most notably the MS State School of Architecture, Starkville and Jackson, and in the 2009 USM “Photographs from the Islamic World” exhibit.
He is married to Carla Dearman, Ed.D, an educational consultant specializing in leadership training and school improvement. Ted and Carla live in Madison County and have three sons and seven grandchildren.
David Landrum attended the University of Southern Mississippi and joined Primerica in 1979. Currently he is Senior National Sales Director and has operating responsibility for over 100 offices in the US and Canada, coordinating the work of 2500+ sales representatives.
Landrum is a member of the Steering Committee for the Mississippi College Campaign and a former Board of Trustees Member. He also serves as a board member for Here’s Life, Habitat for Humanity, Magnolia Speech School, Outback America, Transformation Jackson, Boys and Girls Club of America, Mississippi Council of Economic Education and the Madison County Foundation. He was the former Chairman of the Board of Mission Mississippi and the Madison County Foundation. He currently serves as President of the Board for Magnolia Speech School.
Landrum is married to Jill and they have two children.
Donna Matthews has an associate degree in Electronic Telecommunication from Hinds Community College and is ISECT (International Society for Electronic Communication Technology) certified at the National level. Currently she is continuing her education through AT&T University and Harvard Business School collaborations.
Donna began her career 32 years ago at Bellsouth, now AT&T. After holding several positions and working through many communication evolutions, she is now the Account Service Executive for Trustmark Bank, BancorpSouth, BankPlus, Renasant Bank, Cadence Bank and North Mississippi Medical Center. She is on the Telecom Pioneers of America board serving as Vice President. She has always been involved in an array of community projects and volunteer organizations across the state, and she became very interested and passionate about Magnolia Speech School when she married the son of Elizabeth Matthews, Magnolia’s founder. The love and enthusiasm instilled by “Libba” became a love and desire of her own.
Donna and her husband, Mark, have five children Jeff, Lindsey, Mandy, Emily and Shelly, and three grandchildren. They reside in Brandon and share their home six months of the year with Libba. The other six months Libba resides in Vicksburg with her deaf son Keith and his wife Shellie, who met at MSS while Shellie was teaching there. Donna and Mark attend Crossgates Baptist Church and are active in the Prison Ministry, Children’s Ministry and Gideon’s International Organization. In her spare time Donna enjoys gardening, cooking, volunteering and just relaxing at their cabin in the western North Carolina Mountains.
Dr. Melody Musgrove grew up in Mississippi as the child of public school teachers. She worked as a classroom teacher, school administrator, district special education director and assistant superintendent before serving as State Director of Special Education for the Mississippi Department of Education until January 2007. From 2007 to 2010, she was Director of Business Development for LRP Publications, the nation’s leading publisher of legal and regulatory guidance for educators.
Dr. Musgrove’s career is distinguished by her commitment to collaborative frameworks that find creative solutions to difficult educational problems. She is focused on improving outcomes for all children, and experienced in using data to influence systemic improvement decisions. During her tenure as State Director of Special Education, students with disabilities achieved improved results in reading and math, schools implemented more inclusive practices, graduation rates increased, and drastic steps were taken to halt disproportionate identification of African-American students for special education.
Dr. Musgrove was selected by the White House to be Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the U.S. Department of Education, assuming the role in August of 2010.
Melody and her husband, Ronnie, have four children ranging in age from 22 to 27, all of whom graduated from Mississippi’s public schools, and a rescued shelter dog named Noah. They divide their time between homes in Madison, Mississippi, and Washington, DC.
Dr. Sherwood is a partner with The Children’s Clinic, a private practice group where she has been a pediatrician since 1983. She completed her education at William Carey College and received her medical degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center where she also completed her residency in Pediatrics. She served as Chief Resident and Instructor of Pediatrics.
Dr. Sherwood has been a Board member at Magnolia Speech School for over 10 years where she also served on their Advisory Board. She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Member of the Central Mississippi Pediatric Society, Chairman of the Executive Committee on Child Abuse with the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a member of the Child Abuse Task Force of the National American Academy of Pediatrics.
She is married to Charles Sherwood, M.D. and they have one son. They reside in Jackson and attend Northminster Baptist Church.
Mitch Stringer is a Madison native and a graduate of Madison Ridgeland Academy and Mississippi State University. Upon graduation from MSU, he spent time in Washington, DC, initially as an intern for U. S. Senator Thad Cochran and later a legislative assistant with Balch and Bingham, LLP. In 2006, he returned home to accept a position with Madison County Economic Development Authority where he currently serves as Manager of Business Development & Government Relations.
Mitch is presently serving as President of the Phoenix Club of Jackson, whose primary goal is to raise awareness and monetary support for Boys and Girls Club of Central MS, and Chairman of Young Businessmen of Jackson which has raised more than $50k for local charities including Magnolia Speech School through the annual, and now infamous, Tacky Christmas Party. Mitch previously served as Corporate Giving Chair and Board Member of the Central MS Chapter of the MSU Alumni Association and also serves on the Resource Committee for Magnolia Speech School.
An avid Bulldog supporter, Mitch resides in Madison and attends Pinelake Church.
Walter is a member of the Jackson law firm Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC. He served as Chairman of his firm's Board of Directors from 1999-2010.
Walter has more than 25 years of experience in representing business clients in commercial transactions. He serves as principal outside counsel for both traditional corporate entities as well as a number of entrepreneurs, and his practice also regularly includes representation of national and international clients in transactions involving business activities in Mississippi. He is currently listed in Woodward/White's Best Lawyers in America for his work in Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Chambers USA for Corporate/Commercial Law, and Mid-South Super Lawyers for Business/Corporate Law.
Leadership positions he has held in professional and civic activities include President of the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar Association, Chairman of the Mississippi Law Institute, President of Magnolia Speech School, President of Jackson Academy, President of the Country Club of Jackson, and Chairman of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Methodist Rehabilitation Center and a member of the Board of Directors of the Jackson Heart Foundation.
Walter received his B.A. degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Vanderbilt University, where he also received his J.D. degree, First Honors. He and his wife, Susan, have two sons and they attend Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church.
Thomas Woods attended Millsaps College and graduated in 1982 with a B.B.A. degree in Accounting. He has been employed by Trustmark National Bank for 29 years and is currently Vice President and Regional Credit Administrator working with Trustmark’s community banks.
Born profoundly deaf, he is an alumnus of Magnolia Speech School where he attended from 1960-1966. He has been on the Board of Directors at Magnolia Speech School since 1992 and is also a past President. He was recently elected President of VSA Arts of Mississippi, where he has been a board member since 2003 and Treasurer since 2005.
Thomas is a lifelong resident of Jackson and attends St. Andrews’ Episcopal Cathedral.
Anita Gowin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Georgetown College, a Master of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Kentucky, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Spanish from Louisiana State University. She served as a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages at Mississippi College for 32 years and as Chair of the Department for 20 years. She served on a variety of campus committees and was a member of numerous regional and national language associations. She was privileged to combine her interest in sports and her role as NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative with her love of the Spanish language and culture when she was selected by the People to People Ambassadors Program as a member of the “Women in Sports” delegation to Cuba in 2001. She retired from Mississippi College in 2002 in order to spend more time farming and gardening in her native Kentucky.
Anita supported Magnolia Speech School for many of her years at Mississippi College and developed even more interest in Magnolia after taking a tour during which she observed the professional instruction provided in each classroom by a caring and dedicated staff. Having spent most of her life in the field of language study Anita is well aware of the importance of communication and of the obstacles many must overcome to express themselves effectively.
Jane Hederman is a graduate of Mississippi College with a Masters of Education. She served as Assistant Dean of Women at Mississippi College from 1967-1968 and then at North Georgia College from 1968-1970.
She serves her community through the following organizations; Jackson Academy Parents Association, Jackson Academy Board of Trustees – Past President, Sustainer with the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi College Board of Trustees and Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth Advisory Board.
She is married to Robert Hederman and they have three sons and five grandchildren. She is an active member of First Baptist Church and has been a Sunday School teacher and youth worker for 20+ years.
Pam Manor graduated from Troy State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. After working for many years at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Pam now is a full-time, stay at home mother.
After one of her own children experienced sensory integration therapy needs, Pam became interested in becoming involved with Magnolia. The first Junior League of Jackson project she was chairman of was the Magnolia Speech School Makeover. Pam is currently a Sustaining member of the Junior League.
Pam is married to Wade Manor, they have three girls and reside in Madison County. They are members of Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church where Pam teaches Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is teaching a current student at Magnolia and has taught a former student as well.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, running and tennis.
James Robertson is a native of Jackson who graduated from Millsaps College and completed his Masters in Reading Education from Syracuse University.
Mr. Robertson spent 30 years with Jackson Public Schools, starting as a Reading and Social Studies teacher at Whitten Middle School and ending his career as the Executive Director of Human Resources. He also served in the U.S. Air Force, 172nd Military Airlift Group.
Mr. Robertson is very involved with New Stage Theater and Mississippi College’s Theatre and Music Departments doing set design and construction. He attended Capitol Street United Methodist Church until they closed and currently is a communicant of Galloway United Methodist Church, having served as a member of their administrative board and board of trustees.
Dr. Weems is an Emeritus Professor of Surgery and a retired urologist who served as Director of Urology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for many years. Subsequently he engaged in private practice with the Mississippi Urology Clinic. He is a graduate of Millsaps College and Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Weems is a Lifetime Board Member at Magnolia, where he has served since 1968, and was Board President from 1971-1976.
He is married to Nanette Weaver, also a Millsaps alumnus, and they have three daughters and four grandchildren. They reside in Jackson and attend Galloway Methodist Church.
Jean is a native of Hattiesburg, a graduate of Mississippi College and a former music teacher. She is a lifetime Board member at Magnolia Speech School and received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Volunteering for her generous work with the school. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Mississippi College and has also been a recipient of the Goodwill Award for Volunteerism.
Jean is married to Kelley Williams and they have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren. They live in Jackson and attend Northminster Baptist Church.
Dr. Windmill was born in Birmingham, England and graduated from Florida State University with a PhD in Audiology. Since 2009 he has been Professor and Director of the Division of Communicative Sciences, Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Prior to coming to UMMC he was Associate Professor, Department of Surgery and Division of Audiology at University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Dr. Windmill is Board Certified in Audiology with the American Academy of Audiology and has been presented the Larry Mauldin National Award for Excellence in Education. He is currently a Fellow with the American Academy of Audiology, member of the American Auditory Society, Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Commission on Audiology Education. He is very active in a multiplicity of research projects and has presented at many national meetings.
He and his wife Sue, also an Audiologist, live in Madison and have four children.
Jim is a partner with Haddox, Reid, Burkes and Calhoun PLLC certified public accountants and business advisors. Jim is responsible for the firm’s compliance with its system of quality control (practices and procedures) for the assurance and accounting practice of the firm. His extensive experience of over forty years includes providing assurance and business advisory services to privately held entities in the retail, wholesale, manufacturing, non-profit, and life and casualty insurance industries.
Jim is a past president, board member and council representative for the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). In addition, Jim is in his second term as a board member of the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy (MSBPA) and, as such, is also a member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). He is active in both organizations, having served as chairman of the board and chair of several committees for the MSBPA, and currently serves as a member of the Compliance Assurance Committee and National Regulatory Concerns Committee of NASBA. Jim is also a member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.
His public service passion is the Magnolia Speech School which is dedicated to the oral education of hearing impaired children and children with language disorders where he has served as a board member for over thirty-five years and currently is serving as president of the Magnolia Speech School Foundation. Jim is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Clinton, Mississippi.
John is the President of Glass by Daughtry, Inc., downtown Brandon's certified full-service glass company. John is a junior Business Administration student at Mississippi College where he is a member of Delta Mu Delta Business Honors Society.
John is also a member of the Jackson Scottish Rite Bodies–Nonprofit Masonic Philanthropy and serves as their General Secretary. The Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite focuses on dyslexia - research and educational materials for students and adults with this disorder that causes the brain to not interpret the written word in the same manner. Since this disorder cannot be reversed, only compensation or a different method of processing will enable them to learn. In other words, they should be taught using a method by which they can learn. Magnolia Speech School is privileged to have had the continued support of Scottish Rite for over 40 years.
John resides in Brandon.
It was Magnolia Speech School that shepherded us through the process of teaching Kelsey to hear, to listen and to speak. Today, Kelsey is eight years old. She is mainstreamed in the third grade at St. Andrews Episcopal School where she is doing really well. She is an active gymnast who successfully competes throughout the state. And there is rarely a day that goes by that Kelsey does not sing, her music filling our house and our hearts.
Rick & Kim Burke, parents of Kelsey Burke
Demarrius was evaluated at the age of three because he lacked communication skills. His hearing skills were fine, but he had limited vocabulary skills. Because of his inability to communicate, he would often have tantrums.
Demarrius began attending Magnolia in August 2008. Four months into the program, he had obtained adequate communication skills. He was able to communicate with anyone on a social basis.
We are very proud of the progress that Demarrius has made, and we owe it all to God and the wonderful, supportive staff at Magnolia Speech School. Thank You!
Linda Boyd, grandmother of Demarrius Boyd
The teachers and staff were wonderful, caring people who Reed absolutely adored. We cannot thank them enough for the love and dedication they displayed in bringing out the best in Reed. The only thing we regret is not enrolling him at Magnolia sooner! Magnolia Speech School is a very special place where amazing work goes on and miracles happen every day. THANK YOU!!!
Russell & Stacey Wilcox, parents of Reed Wilcox, Magnolia Alumnus
Magnolia set Rebekah up on an individualized instructional plan in her classroom with clinical support. She immediately started learning and went from being a very shy, inward child to an outgoing, happy child. MSS has been able to improve her communication skills so that now she expresses with confidence all of the smart, beautiful ideas and thoughts she has inside. We are hopeful that she will be able to successfully mainstream into a typical classroom setting in the near future!
Tricia Haynes, mother of Rebekah Whitten
Upon our first tour; we were so positive and ecstatic because we knew Magnolia was the blessing we had been praying for. Within her first semester, we noticed she was trying to say more words, because mommy and daddy were the only words she could say. Now Jashyia is in her second semester and it's amazing how well she can say verbs, identify sounds, and the list goes on. Exceptional results from an excellent staff of great teachers and employees. We recommend Magnolia Speech School to anyone that has hope for their child. The teachers are very hands-on and love every last one of them the same. We are so blessed to have this school in our corner to help with this stage of our daughter's life. We are grateful to all the Magnolia staff for helping with Jashyia.
Johnathan Morris, father of Jashyia Morris
Magnolia truly altered the course of Will's life, teaching him to speak one sound, one syllable, one word and then one sentence at a time. While the journey was not always easy, our family will forever be indebted to the staff and teachers of Magnolia Speech School. Somewhere along Will's path to healing, they crossed over from being teachers to being members of our family. We are forever grateful for their wisdom, support and love.
Kirk Scoggins, father of Will Scoggins, Magnolia Alumnus
After several specialists and endless results, we were referred to Magnolia Speech School. Upon the first tour, we knew this would be the perfect environment for Anthony – a school dedicated to speech performance and a friendly staff willing to help children in need! Magnolia Speech School has changed our lives in the most inspiring way. Family members and friends who remember the small boy who was quiet are now in awe when they see him. He is now exploding with words and even talking in complete sentences. We thank Magnolia for their dedication and willingness to ensure the birth right of every child... speech.
Anthony and Kim Bradford, parents of Anthony Bradford
Our experience in building relationships with the staff at MSS has been overwhelmingly positive. All of the staff members have proven to be committed to investing in the lives of our family. They have helped ensure that both of our daughters meet their full potential and gain their independence through the joy of learning listening and spoken language.
MSS truly understands the dedication it takes on everyone’s part for a deaf child to learn to listen and talk. Thank you MSS for giving our daughters the freedom to succeed in the endless possibilities that God has prepared for them. We will be talking about the extraordinary, life-changing memories and miracles we have witnessed at MSS for years to come!
John & Shelia Cargile, parents of Audrey Cargile
What is Magnolia Speech School’s mission statement?
The mission of Magnolia Speech School is to enable all children with communicative disorders to reach their full potential through spoken language and literacy.
Is Magnolia Speech School accredited?
Magnolia Speech School is fully accredited by AdvancED (formerly SACS) and the Mississippi State Department of Education for grades K-8. Magnolia Speech School is a member of OPTION Schools, INC., an international organization of private schools teaching listening and spoken language skills to children with hearing loss. Magnolia Speech School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age or disabilities or act unlawfully in the adminstration of their educational policies, scholarship or admission.
What is the cost of tuition?
Magnolia Speech School operates as a non-public, special purpose, non-profit school. The annual value of the education each child receives at Magnolia Speech School is $30,000.00. However, tuition is charged for enrollment on a case by case basis. These individualized tuition amounts are determined by the family’s most recent tax returns (1040 form).
The current range for the family portion of tuition is $550.00 – $850.00 per month. Additional monies for tuition are supported by private donors and corporations.
What are the hours of the school day?
Instructional hours are 8:15 – 3:00. The Magnolia Speech School year calendar runs August through June. Holidays coincide with other local public and private schools.
Is child care available for before and after school?
Child care is available from 7:15 - 8:00 in the morning and from 3:15 – 4:30 in the afternoon. There is an additional charge of $6.00 per hour or $1.50 per 15 minute increment for this service. This fee is included on monthly billings.
What type of learning issues are addressed at Magnolia Speech School?
Students enrolled at Magnolia Speech School typically have been diagnosed with hearing loss or some type of language based disorder such as receptive and/or expressive language disorder, speech (articulation) disorders, apraxia, dyslexia, etc. The students with language based disorders use the Association Method, a multisensory approach that addresses language, speech, reading and writing at the same time. The Association Method begins with single sounds (phonemes) and builds language to a conversational level with complex sentences and asking/answering questions.
Are there other supplemental services at Magnolia Speech School?
Certified and licensed pediatric audiologists, an occupational therapist, and speech/language pathologists are a vital part of our staff. Each provides a specific area of service according to the needs of each child. In addition, all students attend music and go to the library weekly.
How long should I expect my child to be enrolled at Magnolia Speech School?
While the average enrollment time is 2-5 years, each student at Magnolia Speech School is viewed as a unique individual, so enrollment length varies with each child.
What is the process for transition into a regular classroom?
All students enrolled at Magnolia Speech School are given a formal battery of standardized tests each spring to measure annual progress. These evaluations look at receptive and expressive language, receptive and expressive vocabulary, articulation, and academic skills. Parents, supervisors and teachers meet together to review the measured progress and make recommendations for entry into mainstream classes. Magnolia Speech School staff is available to provide ongoing support to students and families as needed.
We’re Here to Help You! If you have further questions, please see the contact us section.
Magnolia Speech School is a non-public, special purpose, non-profit school, accredited by both the Mississippi State Department of Education (K to 8th grade) and by AdvancED. (formerly SACS) Magnolia Speech School does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age or disabilities or act unlawfully in the administration of their educational policies, scholarship or admission. We offer the following services:
Our Mission Statement
Magnolia Speech School exists to enable children with communication disorders to develop their full potential through spoken language and literacy.
Magnolia Speech School is a non-public, special purpose, non-profit school and is a proven leader in providing progressive, personalized education to students who need assistance with communicative skills.
It is the belief of Magnolia Speech School that barriers imposed by deafness and language impairments can frequently be overcome through early identification and intervention. It is believed these children need a specialized, self-contained classroom now in order to learn the language necessary to function in other academic settings later. These children must receive as much individualized instruction as possible, as well as full parental support and involvement. Parents and staff must work as a team with mutual trust and respect in order for the child to succeed.
Magnolia Speech School treats the whole child by promoting success in learning, social interaction, emotional stability, and intellectual and physical development while emphasizing the concept of being a worthwhile individual. The educational program for each child is individually designed and emphasizes the development of communicative, cognitive, and social skills, which will facilitate the child's integration into society. The staff is dedicated to the promotion of a positive attitude toward learning through positive reinforcement and encouragement. It is the school's ultimate goal for students to complete this program ready to enter other educational programs appropriate to their educational needs. At Magnolia Speech School, we believe speech and oral language are every child's birthright. We feel if it is possible for a child to develop oral communication skills, he should be given the opportunity.
In the early 1950's, a group of parents of hearing-impaired children in Jackson, Mississippi, began to search for a means to teach their children to talk. These parents struggled with problems of financial support, facilities, and teacher capabilities. In September 1956, Magnolia Speech School, Inc., was chartered with Mrs. Elizabeth S. Matthews as its director. Under her very capable leadership, the school provided training to hearing-impaired and language-impaired children for over 18 years. The school grew from a single class of seven to several classes, outgrowing facilities one after the other.
During these early years, Mrs. Matthews began to notice a few of the hearing-impaired children were having difficulties with memory and seemed to learn differently from the others. Through this very important distinction, the school's program for language-disordered children was born. Mrs. Matthews had studied with Mildred McGiniss to learn the Association Method. After continued success using this method, Magnolia began to document and refine a cohesive program based on this methodology.
Within a few years the school gained full accreditation by the State Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Shortly thereafter, an emphasis was placed on expansion of services into new and innovative areas, such as audiological services, a hearing aid bank, financial aid for low-income families, and an early intervention program.
In June, 1994, Anne Sullivan, M.Ed., CED, became the executive director of Magnolia Speech School. Ms. Sullivan, with certification in both Hearing Impaired and Speech/Language, had previously spent 14 years at Magnolia where she began as a student teacher and rose to the rank of assistant director. Ms. Sullivan retired in 2012.
Prior to becoming executive director of Magnolia Speech School, Valerie G. Linn, M.S. in Communicative Disorders/Speech Pathology, was the executive director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Jackson. She served in various capacities, including clinic director and senior speech/langauge pathologist, at the Mississippi Society for Disabilities (formerly MS. Easter Seal Society), and as a speech/language pathologist at the Children's Rehabilitation Center, Willowood Developmental Center and in county school districts.
Today, Magnolia Speech School continues its tradition of incorporating the latest information and technology to help our students succeed in the mainstream. Magnolia Sppech School joins other "Option" auditory/oral programs nationwide in serving children with cochlear implants. In addition, we are one of this country's pioneer programs in coupling sensory integration and classroom instruction. A revised, updated, and unique "Magnolia Speech School Curriculum" is now the foundation for our instruction, provided by skilled teachers and support staff in small groups and in individual therapy.
The educational program at Magnolia Sppech School is offered for 11 months of the calendar year. Intensive, aggressive small group therapy/instruction in listening and spoken language is available 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., five days a week. Language activities and academic instruction are offered in the classroom and supported by pullout therapy/services in auditory training, speech and occupational therapy as needed. Music classes are provided to every child.
Instruction for each student is determined by his/her Individual Education Plan or Service Plan, which includes specific goals from the Magnolia Speech School Checklist of Skills. Subject areas include:
Magnolia Speech School's Curriculum is based on a checklist of over 3,000 skills and includes measurable criteria and suggested teaching activities for each skill.
Instructional techniques at Magnolia Speech School include language activities that require active learning. Staff members model, shape, and expand spoken language during the entire school day (in the cafeteria, on the playground, in the library, on field trips, etc.). Students learn that with speech they can control their environment and be successful. Student progress is monitored by annual standardized assessment, criteria-referenced testing, and ongoing language sampling and analysis.
The instructional system for children with language disorders at Magnolia Speech School is based on the Mildred McGinnis Association Method of teaching spoken language. This program came about when Mrs. Matthews, founder of the school, noticed two of her first seven students at the school (all hearing-impaired) had difficulties with memory. She found that the Association Method helped build the students’ memory, which is necessary for both spoken language and reading comprehension. The Association Method is consistent and structured, incorporating repetitive drills to build core skills in attention, retention, and recall. With over 50 years of planning and refining behind it at Magnolia Speech School, this method has been molded into a very specialized curriculum that has met with continued success for children with language disorders.
Every Magnolia Speech School student has an Individual Education Plan or Service Plan that outlines goals in appropriate subject areas. Our professionals work with students on a daily basis to address delays in sensory integration, cognition, activities of daily living, and gross motor/fine motor skills.
Every student participates in music classe. Audiological services (addressing auditory processing) and speech therapy are provided to the students as needed. Dyslexia therapy is provided for students with phonological processing disorders. By using the Alphabet Phonics approach, the student is able to improve his/her reading fluency and comprehension strategies.
Every aspect of The Association Method is designed to help children overcome their communication obstacles and transition into mainstream educational programming.
Nettie - Profoundly Deaf with a Bright Future in our Hearing World
Courtland - Child Hears for First Time
If hearing is not used at an early age as the first means of understanding, a child's ability to use that sense deteriorates. The Early Intervention Program at Magnolia Speech School is available to children with hearing loss ages birth to three years old. Our goal is to begin working with children as soon as possible to begin to give them the tools and services they need to hear and speak fluently.
Parents who suspect a hearing loss in their children should not hesitate to consult with Magnolia Speech School. In our diagnostic evaluation center, we offer evaluations for hearing loss by a licensed, certified audiologist. Our audiologist is also a hearing aid specialist who can dispense hearing aids for children and adults. If the need for an implant is indicated, an appropriate referral is made.
In addition to complete audiological services, a certified speech pathologist performs a complete speech/language evaluation, which includes any combination of oral/facial exams, articulation testing, receptive and expressive language testing, and assessment of voice and fluency. The testing team and other Magnolia Speech School staff administer developmental, psychological, achievement, and other testing instruments as needed.
The following programs are also offered by our school to support children from birth to three years:
When the Mississippi Legislature mandated newborn hearing screening in 1996, the Mississippi Department of Health contracted with Magnolia Speech School to provide an Auditory/Oral communication option to families statewide. Services are offered to babies who have hearing loss from birth to age three through both home-based and center-based settings. Through the home-based program, certified and licensed Magnolia Speech School personnel offer emotional support to families while providing information and home activities that enable families to stimulate auditory and oral language development. A full range of audiological services is also provided by the pediatric audiologist to insure that the child is fitted with the most current and effective listening device.
Center-Based Classroom Program
Many children transition from the Parent/Infant home-based program into the Early Intervention Classroom Program at the school. These classes, taught by licensed Teachers of the Deaf, consist of up to five children with hearing loss and one typically developing child who serves as a language model. Trained assistants work in each class, so the teacher-to-child ratio is one to three. In addition, all audiological needs are met at the school, along with individual speech therapy, auditory training, and occupational therapy as needed. All students also attend language-based music classes. Parents continue their involvement through individual meetings with teachers, group meetings, classroom observation, and home activities supplied by the teacher.
For more information on the Early Intervention program, call (601)922-5530.
The Hackett Bower Clinic at Magnolia Speech School offers clinical services on an outpatient basis. Children with moderate disorders and those who are on the waiting list for our full-time program are eligible for these services. We offer one-on-one therapy in auditory training, speech/language instruction, and academic tutoring.
Following services of the Hackett-Bower Clinic:
Speech-Language services are provided by licensed and nationally certified speech-language pathologists using traditional approaches and/or the Association Method. The Clinic provides evaluation of speech, language, reading, and academic skills and offers therapy for children experiencing:
Magnolia Speech School's pediatric audiologist provides daily monitoring, maintenance, and repairs to all amplification devices, routine tympanometry, a complete loaner aid program, and weekly individual auditory training for our hearing-impaired students. Cochlear implant habilitation and rehabilitation is provided for our students on an individual, weekly basis, and mapping of implants is done onsite.
Audiological services are also offered to the public through Magnolia Speech School's Hearing Clinic. Through the clinic we offer hearing evaluations, hearing aid dispensing, monitoring, repairs and maintenance services. We also provide outpatient cochlear implant habilitation and rehabilitation for children and adults.
As it is a clinic, and not part of the school program, The Hackett-Bower Clinic at Magnolia Speech School requires payment at the time of service. For more information regarding the clinic’s services, fees or to schedule an evaluation for your child, please contact Nancy Davis at (601)922-5530 or email@example.com.
At Magnolia Speech School, we believe that the barriers imposed by deafness can usually be overcome through early identification and appropriate intervention. Our method is to treat the whole child by promoting success in learning, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development while emphasizing the concept of being a worthwhile individual. The educational program for each child is individually designed and emphasizes the development of communicative, cognitive and social skills, which will facilitate the child's integration into society.
Because it is the ultimate goal of the school for children to complete this program ready to enter the mainstream of education, Magnolia Speech School has structured its educational program around the three stages of the student's needs:
Parents play a crucial role in the development of their children. When a hearing loss is diagnosed and aids are fitted, the educational process begins for both the parent and the child. Magnolia Speech School's Parent/Infant Program is partially funded by the Mississippi State Department of Health in compliance with Mississippi's Universal Hearing Screening law. To date, approximately 52 of the state's hospitals are screening the hearing of newborns. This support is allowing Magnolia Speech School to offer our Parent/Infant Program free to all parents of hearing-impaired children birth to three years.
A trained parent advisor makes routine visits to families' homes and day care centers. School-based sessions are scheduled as well. Parents and other family members learn about hearing loss, hearing aid management, auditory awareness, and ways to stimulate age-appropriate play and language. Our pediatric audiologist works closely with the families and children to ensure optimal aided benefit is being provided at all times. The audiologist also helps to determine cochlear implant candidacy of the children, and counsels the families who are making the decision about implantation.
The Self-Contained Classroom
Magnolia Speech School’s Self-Contained Classrooms for Children with Hearing Loss offer auditory/oral instruction to hearing-impaired children ages 18 months through 14 years. We provide a small teacher-student ratio (1 teacher to 5 students). All of our teachers are certified Teachers of the Deaf and continue to receive training in auditory/oral teaching methods through in-services, conferences, and visits to other OPTION schools.
The 11-month educational program at Magnolia offers intensive small group therapy/instruction five days a week. Language and academic instruction are offered in the classroom and supported by pullout therapy/services in auditory training, speech, and occupational therapy as needed.
Each classroom has a maximum of six hearing-impaired students. Often, a typically hearing child is also in the classroom as part of a reverse mainstream program. With a low teacher/pupil ratio, each child has a better opportunity to receive individualized instruction. The Magnolia Speech School curriculum is used to set goals and monitor progress for each child. The student's instructional day includes instruction in the areas of audition, receptive language, expressive language, speech, reading, math, social studies, science, social interaction, and gross and fine motor skills if needed. The children are in an auditory/oral environment for the entire school day.
Using active learning and language-based instruction, teachers model language within each activity. After the child learns to imitate the model, the teacher shapes and expands what the student has offered. Auditory trainers are used in the classroom so the students will receive better quality sound. Teaching the children to listen and process what they are hearing is central to classroom instruction. A "listening attitude" is developed as each hearing-impaired student at Magnolia is surrounded by sound and bathed in language until typical oral skills emerge.
Mainstream Program page
Our chief goal at Magnolia Speech School is to integrate our hearing-impaired students into their own communities as early and easily as possible. When a student is ready to mainstream, our teachers and staff help the parents make preparations for the child to merge successfully into the community.
Parents and teachers work closely together to provide workshops and in-services to schools, day care centers, and other family members so everyone is prepared and comfortable.
Our mainstream support services include monthly on-site school visits by the hearing-impaired teacher, consultations with therapists, and in-services to school personnel. Our teachers work closely with the student's mainstream teachers to ensure a smooth, successful transition. The Hackett-Bower Clinic offers weekly speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, audiological services, cochlear implant rehabilitation therapy, and tutoring as needed.
For more information, please contact the school at 601.922.5530.
Magnolia Speech School’s Language Disorders Department is designed to help children with neurologically based language disorders. These disorders affect children in various ways and at various levels, but all keep the children from enjoying all that life has to offer because they make communication difficult.
Some of the disorders we work with include:
Speech disorders are both difficult to diagnose and difficult to overcome under any one program. The one thing all of these language disorders have in common is that they are based in the brain - they occur due to a breakdown in the neurological processing.
Magnolia Speech School successfully works with children to help them learn to communicate effectively. Our method is to treat the whole child by using Mildred McGinnis’ Association Method, a multi-sensory, phonics-based method of teaching oral and written language simultaneously. Learn more about the Association Method here.
At Magnolia Speech School, we treat the whole child by promoting success in educational, social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development while emphasizing the concept of being a worthwhile individual. The educational program for each child is individually designed and emphasizes the development of communicative, cognitive, and social skills, which will facilitate the child's integration into society. The staff is dedicated to the promotion of a positive attitude toward learning through positive reinforcement and encouragement.
Because it is the ultimate goal of the school for children to complete this program ready to enter the mainstream of education, Magnolia Speech School has structured its Language Disordered Program into two stages:
The Self-Contained Classroom
In Magnolia Speech School’s Self-Contained Classrooms, a well-trained oral educator, certified in speech/language, is in charge of the day-to-day instruction in a setting that promotes intensive, individual attention. Classroom instruction centers on Magnolia Speech School's unique curriculum that includes the subjects of receptive language, expressive language, speech, reading, math, social studies, science, and fine and gross motor skills. This curriculum is used to target individual goals, track progress, and schedule daily activities. These classrooms are supported by a variety of specialists including an audiologist, music teacher, speech pathologist and an occupational therapist. The instruction is guided by Magnolia Speech School's own curriculum, which includes 10 subject areas.
The Mainstream Program
The goal of Magnolia Speech School’s Mainstream Program is to integrate children into mainstream education within five years, though it does vary with each child. We offer a transitional classroom that helps orient the children to the different demands of a mainstream classroom. We also help parents by working with the mainstream school to help select the best available teacher and classroom setting for the child's first year away from Magnolia Speech School. Magnolia Speech School's staff members continue to serve students through consultation, in-service, problem solving, outpatient speech and tutoring as long as there is need.
For more information on this program, please contact Nancy Davis, department supervisor, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Magnolia Speech School is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of professionals in the community who volunteer their time, efforts and resources to the program. Magnolia Speech School's chief administrative officer is its executive director. Magnolia Speech School encompasses a development office and business office. Currently, the school administers its services at the main campus, physically located at 733 Flag Chapel Road in Jackson, Mississippi.
Valerie Linn, CCC-SLP
Beverly Cunningham, Office Manager
LeAnne McGinty, Support Specialist
Click on a Board of Director's name to view bio.
Donna Kaye Byrd, Interior Design & Consultation
Liz Carroll, Carroll Communications
Noel Daniels, Freedom Auto
John Daughtry, Scottish Rite
Ted Dearman, Dearman Services, Inc.
La'Verne Edney, Baker, Donelson Law Offices
Anita Gowin, Ph.D.
Jennifer Wilson Hall, MS. Manufactured Housing Assoc.
Join us for the 20th Annual Magnolia Speech School Golf Classic on Monday, May 9, 2016 at Annandale Golf Club. For more information contact LeAnne McGinty at (601) 922-5530 or at email@example.com.
From humble beginnings as a home-based school for local deaf children, Magnolia Speech School has grown to be one of the pre-eminent programs in the Southeast for all types of communication disorders. Our largest source of funding is through philanthropic organizations such as Kiwanas, Rotary, Scottish Rite Bodies, United Way and various other individual and corporate donors. Approximately one-quarter of our funding comes from tuition charges.
Without the support of corporations, foundations, individuals, social organizations, and the community at large, Magnolia Speech School would not be able to continue our mission of ensuring that all children reach their full potential through spoken language and literacy in mainstream society. The needs are great, as we maintain on ongoing waiting list of children from all parts of the country who are searching for quality programming for their special needs. There are many ways to get involved, and any efforts are greatly appreciated. We realize the economy is down and everyone is busy with their own lives, but we appreciate any and all gifts. If you would like to help Magnolia Speech School in its continued mission, please contact the school at (601) 922-5530.
Click here to offer your help.
YOUR INFORMATION FOR THE VOLUNTEER DATA BANK
First name : _____________________________ Last name:__________________________
Home phone:______________________Work phone:________________________________
College (if applicable):______________Major:__________________Grad. Or Undergrad.
( ) Current Speech School parent ( ) Former Speech School parent
( ) Community Volunteer ( ) University Student
( ) Alumni ( ) Family member of student
Please call LeAnne McGinty at 601-922-5530 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for
There are many specific ways you can give to Magnolia Speech School. Please read on for more information about the types of financial assistance you or your organization could provide.
Join us for Magnolia's Golf Classic on May 9, 2016, at Annandale Golf Club. This annual four-person scramble is always a fun event and helps to raise funds for scholarships for our students.
Registration, lunch, and practice begin at 11:00 am, with the scramble starting at 12:30. The $200 entry fee includes the range, cart, and green fees; lunch, snacks, and beverages; and a gift bag for each golfer. First and second place prizes will be awarded for each flight, as well as prizes for hole-in-ones and a chance to win a car!
Sponsorships are available. To learn more about sponsoring or participating in the Golf Classic, call LeAnne McGinty at 601.922.5530 or e-mail at email@example.com
HOLE IN ONE SPONSOR - $5,000 (2 TEAMS)
LUNCH SPONSOR - $2,500 (1 TEAM)
BEVERAGE CART SPONSOR - $2,000 (Limited to two)
SCOREBOARD SPONSOR - $1,500
EAGLE SPONSOR - $1,000 (1 TEAM)
DRIVING RANGE SPONSOR - $500
PUTTING GREEN SPONSOR - $500
HOLE SPONSOR - $250
Magnolia Speech School is continuously reaching out to secure resources needed to expand our services and serve more children with the quality instruction we offer in the classroom and out-patient services in our Hackett-Bower Clinic.
Clinic Equipment – The clinic must have furnishings, therapy equipment, audio/visual equipment and computers to conduct the therapy sessions. This includes a hearing aid analyzer to be used to program students’ hearing aids to new standards.
Building Repairs and Renovation – To create a brighter, safer environment for our students, we need to repair foundation problems and add additional bathrooms between classrooms for very young children, and replace the carpet in our library and classrooms.
Capacity Needs – As we expand our services and serve more children, we will need to attract new, qualified teachers and support staff, increase professional development opportunities, and ensure they have access to the latest research, technology and information in the field of communication disorders.
Gifts to Magnolia Speech School are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law, as no goods or
services are provided in consideration of a gift. Please send your donation to:
Magnolia Speech School
733 Flag Chapel Road
Jackson, MS 39209
Please contact the school at 601.922.5530.
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The Magnolia Speech School PTO is an active organization that exists to support the school and its programs. All parents are encouraged to be involved in PTO fundraisers such as Kroger and Target School Reward Bucks Programs, raffles, Innisbrook sales, sale of our signature Magnolia materials such as t-shirts/sweatshirts and Christmas ornaments. The organization contributes a significant amount annually to support Magnolia Speech School and often purchases needed instructional materials for our classrooms. Additionally, the PTO celebrates "Teacher Appreciation Week" by serving the staff a scrumptious lunch!! Look forward to all Fall Festival activities in October 2015 to be organized and implemented by this hard-working, ambitious group of parents.
PTO Annual Dues - $20/checks made payable to Magnolia Speech School PTO
President – Shannon Miller
Treasurer - Olivia Cole
Visit Magnolia PTO on Facebook
Magnolia Speech School
733 Flag Chapel Road
Jackson, MS 39209
Valerie Linn, CCC-SLP, Executive Director
Nancy Davis, Department Supervisor
Beverly Cunningham, Office Manager