Skip navigation

School of Education

Meet the Candidate Support Providers

Robin Atwood is the director of the World Class Teaching Program.  Robin was one of the first seven National Board Certified Teachers in Mississippi and has supported candidates since 1997.  She renewed her Early Childhood Generalist certificate in 2005 and again in 2015.  Robin is in her 32nd year as an educator and is a frequent conference presenter and professional development provider.  Her professional interests include school-wide literacy, writing in all subject areas, early childhood reading, education for civic engagement, and science and history literacy. Robin also directs the South Mississippi Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, and provides classroom literacy coaching and professional development for English, History, and Science teachers.


Sherrill Adamo has been an educator for 15 years and is currently a 3rd grade English Language Arts teacher at Petal Elementary School.  She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early/Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading and Language Arts. She supports National Board candidates through their certification process.  In addition, she facilitates professional development through The University of Southern Mississippi’s World Class Teaching Program and works with K-3 educators through a grant funded by The Kellogg Foundation.  She served as the leader of the English Language Arts Professional Learning Community for her grade level at her school for eight years and is a part of the Petal School District Language Arts Cohort.  She has also served on various committees through the Mississippi Department of Education, including most recently being selected for the inaugural Mississippi Teacher Council.  She is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, received her master’s degree from William Carey University, and took additional course work to obtain her supplemental endorsement in gifted education.   She is currently pursuing her specialist degree in instructional leadership from William Carey University.

Karen Addison has taught for 28 years, primarily in south Mississippi. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Masters in Math Education from William Carey College. She received National Board Certification in 2005 and renewed her certification in 2014. She has been a Candidate Support Provider with the World Class Teacher Center at USM since 2008.  She teaches at Oak Grove High School where she has taught since 1999. During her teaching career, she has also taught at Rowan Junior High, Sumrall High School, and Swansboro High School in North Carolina. Karen also serves as an adjunct instructor at William Carey University teaching mathematics to future elementary teachers. She has been a member of Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK), an honorary sorority for women educators, since 1992. She has served her chapter in various officer positions and is currently serving as treasurer.  

Nan Davis, now retired, was an educator in grades K-12 for 40 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood Generalist and has a Master’s degree in General Education and Exceptional Needs. Her professional passions include engaging in learning and growing experiences with colleagues and using best practices strategies to equip students to be life learners as they find purpose in fulfilling their life dreams. Nan lives in Hattiesburg with her husband. They enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren.

Lori Johnson has taught for 15 years in the Petal School District in the third through sixth grades teaching English Language Arts and History, has served as a PLC Leader for six years, and serves on her district’s K-12 ELA Cohort.  She graduated with her B.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi in Elementary Education and earned her M.Ed. in Mild and Moderate Disabilities Education from William Carey University. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Literacy: Reading-Language Arts with the assistance of the World Class Teacher Program at the University of Southern Mississippi. Since then, Lori has been able to support candidates through the WCTP. She has also had the great opportunity to become an active Teacher Consultant with the South Mississippi Writing Project where she has led professional development in multiple school districts in the surrounding area.

Otha Keys currently serves as Media Specialist at South Jones Jr.-Sr. High School. She was in the first National Board certification class in the area of Library Media and has since renewed her certificate. She has worked for ETS and NBPTS as an assessment center trainer and Scoring Director in Princeton, Oklahoma, Florida, and Texas and has supported candidates in various areas as they went through the certification process. She is very active in Mississippi Library Association, having served as School Library Section Chair, Author Awards Committee Co-Chair and Chair, Secretary, Membership Committee Chair and Co-Chair. She has also presented professional development workshops for her district in the use of technology and at conferences about collaboration and the national board process. She was on the committee that assisted in the update of the MDE's School Library Media Guide and has written articles for Mississippi Libraries about collaboration and building bridges between classroom teachers, students and their usage of the Media Center and for the online edition of Knowledge Quest about her journey and experiences as she achieved National Board Certification. She has been honored as MLA’s 2004 School Librarian of the Year and in 2006 was selected as a Coca-Cola Scholar Joseph P. Whitehead Educator of Distinction.  Otha currently serves on the MAGNOLIA Database Steering and Selection Committees, MDE's Educator and Leader Effectiveness Steering Committee.

Lee Mason has been an educator in south Mississippi since 2005. He taught middle school math for 11 years, then taught Teacher Academy. He now serves as the assistant principal for Purvis Middle School. In 2005, Lee graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi where he returned to earn a M.Ed. in Educational Administration in 2009. He became National Board Certification in 2012 in Early Adolescent Mathematics and is now a National Board Candidate Support Provider for the Master Teaching Program at USM. Lee’s professional interests include using technology responsibly in the classroom, math education that leads to conceptual understanding, developing inquiry based classrooms, and incorporating STEM into classrooms.

Lisa McDonald has been a public school teacher for 26 years, teaching ELA in every grade from 5 through 12. For the past 20 years, she has taught English IV at Petal High School, where she has served as English Department chair and PLC leader. She currently serves on the Petal School District K-12 ELA Cohort. She also teaches a dual enrollment English 101/English IV class administered through the University of Southern Mississippi. Lisa has served on a variety of local, state and national committees devoted to ELA standards writing, revision, and testing. Lisa was National Board Certified in 2001 and recertified in 2011. She received a B.S. in English and an M.Ed. in Secondary English from the University of Southern Mississippi.  

April Miller has been an educator for 26 years and currently teaches oral communication and creative writing courses at South Jones High School in Ellisville.  During the past 26 years, she has taught computer technology, English, and numerous other courses.  She received a B.S. in Business Education from The University of Southern Mississippi and a M.Ed. in Gifted Education from William Carey University, and she has completed additional graduate coursework in literature at both universities.  She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Career and Technical Education. She first certified in 2007 and renewed in 2016.  She is a Candidate Support Provider with the World Class Teacher Center at USM.  She serves as an adjunct instructor at USM where she has taught instructional technology classes for 18 years.

Ann Nelson is in her 31st year of teaching and is in a kindergarten/first grade looping classroom at Oak Grove Primary School in the Lamar County School District.  Ann holds a BS from William Carey College, MEd from the University of Southern Mississippi, and EdS from William Carey College.  She has held positions teaching all ages from kindergarten through the college level in Mississippi.  In 2001 she received National Board Certification and recertified in 2010. She was the 2004 OGLE Teacher of the Year and the 1990 Perry County District Teacher of the Year.  Ann is co-project director of the Whole Schools Project at OGPS, and a South Mississippi Writing Project Teaching Consultant with a group of teachers who provide professional development focused on improving literacy development particularly in the area of writing and serving teachers and students. She is also a member of The Navigators, a team trained to provide leadership in curriculum mapping and unit development with arts infused lessons.  She and partner teacher, Ann Claire Bennett, were recognized as 2008 Thad Cochran Arts Integration Teachers of the Year by the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education. Recently, William Carey University recognized Ann with the William Carey University Circle of Excellence Award from the School of Education. Ann strives to show students how the information they are learning in the classroom will be beneficial to them in their adult lives while presenting the material in fun and meaningful ways.

Shelley Putnam teaches AP chemistry, chemistry and physical science at Columbia High School. In her 20th year as an educator she serves as a South Mississippi Writing Project Teaching Consultant, a Mississippi Teach Plus Fellow and the MTSS chair for her school. She also serves as a member of her school’s leadership team, administrative team, PBIS team and literacy team.  She received National Board Certification for Early Adolescent Science in 2009 and renewed her certification in 2018. Shelley received her district’s Teacher of the Year award in 2005 while teaching 4th and 5th grade students with learning disabilities and again in 2009 while teaching 6th grade science. Shelley is an alumni of Northrop Grumman’s Weightless Flight of Discovery Zero-G Flight Program and enjoys the science based thrills of beekeeping, white water rafting and hang gliding.  She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a BA in Biology, and she received her MEd in Mild and Moderate Disabilities and her SEd in Educational Leadership from William Carey University. Literacy and the wonderment of science are her passions.

Patsy Reon, a Career and Technical Candidate Support Provider for USM’s World Class Teacher Program, has been a Mississippi educator for 33 years. She is the Career and Technical Director at A. P. Fatheree Career & Technical Center in Jones County.  Patsy has also taught adjunct computer and technology classes for Southern Miss. In 1981 Patsy graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education.  She also earned a Master of Science in Business Technology Education from Southern Miss in 1996.  In 2001 she received National Board Certification in Career and Technology Education.  Patsy has previously been a Phase I Technology Trainer for the State Department of Education, as well as conducting staff development training workshops on Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Blackboard.  She worked with the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State and other Cooperative Education instructors across the state to develop and set up a Blackboard website for use as a teaching resource.

Cagney Weaver has been in education for nine years and is currently a 5th grade ELA teacher for Biloxi Public Schools. She has been with Biloxi Schools for seven year and has had the pleasure of serving as a district grade-level chairperson. Cagney was awarded the Milken Educator Award for the state of Mississippi in 2014; the same year she attained her National Board Certification in Literacy. Cagney is in her second year of service on the State Superintendant, Dr. Carrie Wright’s Mississippi Teacher Council. Having spoken for the Mississippi Association of Gifted Children, the Mississippi Department of Education, and ECET2, she is a constant advocate for public education in our state. 

Angela Woodrow has served as a candidate support provider for the World Class Teacher Center at the University of Southern Mississippi for the past nine years.  She earned National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2001 and renewed certification in 2010.  Angela earned a B.S. in psychology and teacher certification in secondary social studies from U.S.M., a M.Ed. in secondary education from William Carey University and gifted education certification from Mississippi State University.  After teaching history, sociology and psychology at Bassfield High School for eight years, Angela is serving her twenty-second year teaching gifted education in the Smith County School District.  In addition, she serves as a teacher consultant with the South Mississippi Writing Project.