(Savannah, Georgia) —Tennessee State Senator Dolores Gresham (Somerville) has been elected chair of the Education Committee of The Council of State Governments’ Southern office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). Previously, Senator Gresham was elected vice chair of the regional education committee in 2013 during the organization’s annual meeting in Mobile, Alabama, and served in that capacity for two years. The Education Committee is one of six SLC standing committees. As chair of the Committee, Senator Gresham will identify pressing issues for discussion at the conference and establishes research priorities for the committee during the conference year. In addition to Senator Gresham, state Representative Tom Dickson of Georgia was elected vice chair of this prestigious SLC Committee.
As part of its mission to foster and encourage cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met in Savannah, Georgia, for its 69thAnnual Meeting, bringing together nearly 1,500 delegates, legislative staff, and guests from across the South. During the SLC meeting in Savannah, the SLC Education Committee met twice for programs on three topics. Among the topics and speakers featured at this year’s committee sessions were:
• Career and Technical Education, featuring Commissioner Gretchen Corbin of the Technical College System of Georgia; and
• Implications of Adolescent Brain Development on Education Policy, with Sheryl Feinstein, Ph. D., Dean, Department of Education, University of Nebraska, and Laurie Cutting, Ph. D., Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Special Education, Psychology, Radiology, and Pediatrics; Principal Investigator, Education and Brain Sciences Research Lab, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
• Youth Development and Entrepreneurship, with Elizabeth Gaines, Vice President, Policy Solutions, The Forum for Youth Investment, Washington, D.C., and Thomas Gold, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Evaluation, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, New York.
Other programmatic highlights of the 69th Annual Meeting included an opening plenary session featuring former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Atlanta Equity Chairman A.D. “Pete” Correll and a closing plenary with Vince Dooley, former head football coach and director of athletics at the University of Georgia. Each annual meeting focuses, in part, on the innovative programs of the host state, and Georgia’s continued successes in workforce training, nuclear energy generation, specialty courts of justice, attracting the motion picture industry, and agricultural food chain logistics were discussed at substantive committee sessions.
A tradition of SLC annual meetings, the SLC/Mark Norris Campaign Against Hunger, brought together SLC participants to assemble 50,000 meals, to be distributed to families in Georgia through Outreach, Inc. and America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.