William Carey professor wins Gold Lamp award

William Carey professor wins Gold Lamp award

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from William Carey University 

The Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA) presented Dr. Ben Burnett the Golden Lamp Award during the fall leadership conference on October 18 in Jackson.

The Golden Lamp Award is presented each year to an individual or individuals who have shown outstanding support for Mississippi public education throughout his or her career as an educator, administrator, or leader in the educational arena.

Dr. Burnett is the dean of the School of Education at William Carey University. Before joining the faculty at Carey in 2014, he served 28 years in the K-12 education system as a teacher, principal and superintendent. During his first two years as dean, the School of Education reached record enrollments each year. This is due largely to the creation of new degrees that help meet the needs of educators and school systems across the state. The School of Education has also added a number of online degrees to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

"William Carey is blessed with outstanding leadership in all areas. The School of Education has made great strides under the leadership of Dr. Ben Burnett, and we are pleased that the statewide organization of administrators has chosen Dr. Burnett as recipient of the Golden Lamp Award for 2016," said WCU President Tommy King.

Burnett received his bachelor's and master's degree in music education and his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He spent 26 years in the Lamar County School system, including serving as the director of bands and principal of Oak Grove Middle School. He was elected superintendent of the Lamar County School District in 2007 and 2011. He was given the Mississippi School Board Association (MSBA) Beacon Award for Lamar County Schools in 2013, named Lamar Times Person of the Year in 2012, presented the MSBA Lantern Award for Lamar County Schools in 2009, 2010, and 2011, received the Mississippi Gifted Advocate Award in 2011, and was named Mississippi Middle School Principal of the Year, and Teacher of the Year for the Lamar County School District.

In presenting the award to Burnett, MASA Executive Director Lisa Karmacharya said, "He is, first and foremost, a man of great character, honesty and integrity.  He is a man people respect, look up to, and yes, even aspire to be like, a true southern gentleman. He is not perfect and will tell you that. He is humble and hard working. And he has a resume as long as my arm with awards and achievements and appointments that make him stand out among many. He is quiet but strong. He is in the truest sense, a leader and forever a champion for children."