William Jewell College will host the Northland’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration with a program beginning at 10 a.m. January 17 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the college campus in Liberty, Mo. The program is free and the public is invited to attend; tickets or reservations are not required.
The featured speaker for the event is Dr. John Covington, superintendent of schools for the Kansas City, Mo., School District. In addition, campus and community leaders will be honored with the Martin Luther King, Jr. community service award. Recipients for 2011 will be announced at a later date. The MLK Day celebration will include a performance by the William Jewell College Concert Choir.
Guest speaker Dr. John Covington was hired as Superintendent of Schools for the Kansas City, Mo., School District on April 30, 2009. Previously, Dr. Covington served as the superintendent of Pueblo City Schools, Pueblo, Colo., for three years. Prior to joining the Pueblo school district, he was superintendent of schools for Lowndes County Public Schools, Lowndes County, Ala., serving for six years. In addition, he served in Alabama’s Montgomery Public Schools System as an assistant superintendent and executive assistant to the superintendent. Prior to his tenure in Montgomery, Dr. Covington served in numerous professional capacities in Macon County, Troy City and Eufala City Public Schools in Alabama.
Dr. Covington earned B.S., M.S., AA Certification and Ed.S. degrees from Alabama State University. He also holds a M.Ed. Certification from Troy University and an AA Certification and Ed.D. degree from Auburn University. Dr. Covington was named a Japan Fulbright Scholar in 2005, recipient of the NAFEO (National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education) award in 2007, and was selected to participate in the Broad Foundation Class of Fellows, one of only 12 leaders nationwide in 2008, and has been selected as a distinguished alumnus of his alma mater, Alabama State University. In May 2010, he received the Public Administrator of the Year local award from the Greater Kansas City chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the practice or teaching of public administration. Most recently he was honored by Governing Magazine as one of the 2010 Public Officials of the Year.
In his first year with the Kansas City, Mo., School District, Dr. Covington led the district through a series of significant changes designed to improve student achievement, accountability and customer service. Notable efforts include the right-sizing (school closure) process, the presentation of a balanced budget for the 2011 fiscal year, and the initiation of a community-wide strategic planning effort.
A free public reception will be held immediately following the program in the White Atrium of the Yates-Gill College Union. For more information, contact Dr. Cecelia Robinson, 816-415-7659, or robinsonc AT william.jewell DOT edu
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