The 2021 Making Connections Conference has been scheduled for this summer!

The Making Connections Conference will be held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention Center in Biloxi from
June 9 to June 11, 2021.
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Keynote Speakers

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The Making Connections Conference (MCC) is THE teacher conference for Mississippi educators.  It is a collaborative effort between The University of Southern Mississippi College of Education and Human Sciences and the Southern Regional Educational Service Agency (S-RESA).  


MCC is the opportunity to join teachers from around the state who care deeply about bringing the best innovative and practical teaching strategies to the classroom. This year's conference will provide educators with inspiration, practical skills, and the opportunity to expand professional networks with other educators from around the state.

 Conference Cost

Regular: $195

On-site: $225

Dr. David Lee

Dr. David Lee is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at The University of Southern Mississippi and is internationally recognized as a leadership and motivation expert, speaker, and author.  He has served as speaker/consultant to school systems and fortune 500 companies all over the world. He obtained his doctorate degree from Louisiana State University.


Dr. Lee is an accomplished leader with over 35 years of experience driving change in organizations and providing the motivation that enables people to be better at what they do.  His greatest strength is his experience because he has been a teacher, coach, principal at every grade level, superintendent of schools, deputy state superintendent of education for the State of Louisiana, college instructor, and a local school board member. He has served from the classroom to the boardroom.


He is the author of three books, The Motivating Administrator, Run from the Nuts, and Teachers’ Lounge Mafia.  His latest book due to be released in late spring is What Great School Boards Do Differently.  He also publishes articles in leading industry journals.  His latest is Ten Laws of Good Board Governance, published by the National School Boards Association. 


He gives you information you can USE, not just theory and what SHOULD work.  His enthusiastic, informative, and fun-filled messages have hit the mark for thousands of listeners. Be prepared for a motivational session that could change the way you do your job.

Tabs will be activated from gray to gold as more information becomes available!

Hotel Information for the 2021 Making Connections Conference



Golden Nugget             


$129, $149

Group Number - S210355

Imperial Palace             



Group Number - S210121

Centennial Plaza                   



Quality Inn


$90, $104

Conference Information

Mr. Mitchell Williams

Mr. Mitchell Williams is the University of Southern Mississippi Football Team Pastor.  

Prior to being hired with FCA in 2011, Mitchell worked at WDAM-TV for 27 years, serving as sports director for 20 of those years. While at WDAM, the sports department was cited by the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters for excellence on 40 different occasions.

A licensed and ordained minister, Mitchell has hosted an FCA sponsored retreat for leaders of his area's prep football teams every spring since 2004. Since 2012, FCA also hosts a similar retreat for prep female leaders in the Pine Belt Area. He leads a staff of 20 full-time, part-time and volunteer staff in Southeast Mississippi. 

His region covers 24 counties in Southeast Mississippi. It includes over 100 middle and high schools, Southern Miss and William Carey Universities, and six community colleges which are Jones, Pearl River, MS Gulf Coast, Meridian, East MS and East Central.

In addition to leading the Southeast Mississippi Region, Mitchell has served as the lead pastor, chaplain, and character coach for the University of Southern Mississippi football team since 2015.

Mitchell attended North Forrest and Southern Miss, where he lettered every year in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track. He was enshrined in the USM Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. Married to his wife Shelia for over 30 years, the Williams' are the parents of four adult boys.They are members of Grace Temple Church of Hattiesburg.

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Mr. Mason Smith

Mason Smith is a veteran teacher with more than twenty years of classroom experience. He manages the family farm, officiates college basketball, and leads Praise and Worship at his church in Lumberton.

He is husband to Dr. Linda Smith, father to Marika (Ryan) Chauvin, Mason (Lexi), and Michael, but his favorite role is grandfather (Pa) to Gabriel Chauvin. Mason is a dynamic speaker and motivator as he serves the Lord with gladness. He is an avid golfer, sports watcher, and exceptional grill master.


Mr. Smith encourages everyone to: “Rejoice always, Pray continually; [and] Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV