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Simpson County School District (SCSD) employee Kenyatta Durr is now recognized as a leader in Mississippi’s economic development, thanks to her completion of the Master Teacher of Economics certificate program from the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE).

Durr, a health informatics instructor at Simpson County Technical Center (SCTC), successfully completed the Master of Teacher of Economics program this summer from the MCEE. Completion of the program attests to her knowledge of basic and advanced-level economic concepts and her ability to help students achieve economic and financial literacy. Durr was accepted into the program, along with 18 other participants from various backgrounds and industries.

“Mrs. Durr is an outstanding addition to the SCTC instructional staff. The fact that she is willing to improve in her craft by completing this program is a testament to that” said SCTC Director George Huffman. “With the completion of the Master Teacher of Economics program she will be able to provide more in-depth instruction related to economics and how it impacts the healthcare profession.”

The Master Teacher of Economics Program is an intense 16-week professional development program offered in collaboration with the MCEE and the Mississippi Department of Education to provide professional development to teachers in economics and financial education. The Department of Education confers the Master Teacher of Economics designation.

Having completed other certificate programs from the MCEE before, Durr said she pursued the economics certificate to give herself an extra skill she could bring to the classroom to enhance classroom instruction. Since completion of the program, Durr said she has been able to add things she learned from the program to her curriculum and is impressed at her students’ response to the material.

“Since going through the program and having access to some of the resources that come with completing the course, I have found it beneficial and that it has helped prepare me for the classroom,” said Durr. “Simply engaging my students in conversation and asking thought-provoking questions has allowed us to talk about particular issues and how it impacts the economy, the types of jobs available and the amount of money they can make.”

According to Durr, her students are developing an understanding of relationships between things such as supply and demand and how disastrous events can impact the local, state and national economy.

“Once they start learning some of those economic skills, they are able to make relationships from what is happening in our economy, based on their studies,” she said. “Now, when they come into the classroom, they are telling me about things that they see on the news and asking questions about how it will impact our economy.”

This winter and spring, Durr’s students will have an opportunity to showcase their new skills and knowledge in the Mississippi National Economics Challenge – a competition to engage students more fully in their learning while assessing how well they are learning economic concepts.  The students will compete with other students from across the state to apply their economics knowledge and answer rigorous questions on microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics and current events for a chance to compete on the national level.

A native of Simpson County, Durr has worked with the SCSD for two years. Prior to her current role as health informatics instructor SCTC, she served as an instructor of business marketing and finance and of international business for Magee High School. is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.


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