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Director of Schools to Speak at Lane College Commencement

Lane College President Logan Hampton today announced that Dr. Verna D. Ruffin, Superintendent of the Jackson-Madison County (TN) School System, will be the commencement speaker at the College's Commencement Convocation on Sunday, April 26, 2015, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Oman Arena. In a statement accompanying the release, Hampton stated, "We are elated that Dr. Ruffin has agreed to speak to our graduating seniors on their very special day. She is a distinguished and accomplished public servant who will bring a vital and timely message. Lane College is extremely honored that Dr. Ruffin will bless us with her presence."

Dr. Ruffin began her tenure as Superintendent of Jackson-Madison County Schools in on July 1, 2013. Beginning in the first few months of her career, the School Board members worked together with Dr. Ruffin and approved three board goals which focused her attention on the work ahead. These Board goals are: Academic Excellence, Finance, and Safety. Each of these goals contains components that were chosen to guide the vision for the district. A significant result of these goals was the establishment of the Academic Academy at Northeast Middle School in the fall of 2014. The Academic Academy at Northeast Middle School is a middle school, school-within-a school concept for Gifted and Talented students and accelerated-learning students willing to engage in an academically rigorous learning environment. In its first year, approximately 250 students from across the district have been accepted into the Academy.

In addition to the middle school developments, Dr. Ruffin and her staff most recently announced the establishment of an Early College High School at North Side High School. This high school design has required the same focus and diligence experienced in the development of the Academic Academy in order to launch this school concept by the Fall of 2015-16. Each of these milestones, along with many more, is a product of a larger initiative called Vision 2020. The Vision 2020 process will engage principals, teachers, parents, students, and a broad base of the community to develop a clear, enhanced vision for the system. Vision 2020 will focus on the system's current allocation of resources and identify opportunities to better invest in education resources, students, faculty, and staff.

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