Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Friday, April 27, The Ayers Foundation held a press conference at Lipscomb University, with University officials announcing a new teacher development program in partnership with The Ayers Foundation.
Through a $1 million gift from James and Janet Ayers to Lipscomb’s College of Education, The Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation will place emphasis on helping educators in rural school systems and troubled schools in Tennessee. Institute programs will begin fall of 2012, according to Lipscomb’s College of Education.
Ayers foundation President, Janet Ayers delivered a keynote address expressing how the new Ayers Institute will focus on improving teacher performance and student outcomes across the state.  Ayers said, “The institute will be a great resource for our schools, particularly those with smaller professional development budgets, and will help develop innovative practices to sustain education reform in our state. There will be particular emphasis on development in turn-around schools, teachers and rural school systems. When everyone is working together, great things can happen.”
Ayers also noted; “We need to cultivate a culture of excellence among our teachers and school leaders, and a deeper appreciation of the value of learning in students and the community at large. We all know there is no competitive advantage to being average!”  Ayers comment drew a standing ovation from the conference attendees.
“We have found through our research and work with local school systems that one of the best ways to improve teaching and learning in the classroom is to provide educators with specific professional development based on their individual needs. When practicing educators are continually supported through tailored enhancement programs and armed with innovative teaching techniques, students have a greater opportunity to be successful,” said Candice McQueen, dean of the College of Education. “We are excited that this new partnership embodied in the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation will allow us to expand those opportunities for teachers and students across the state, especially in areas that need it the most.”
For additional information and articles on the press conference and the newly formed Ayers Institute at Lipscomb University, click the following links:

The Tennesean:

The Examiner:
 Nashville Post:

Janet Ayers - President, The Ayers Foundation, addresses the press conference at Lipscomb University April 27, 2012.

James and Janet Ayers of The Ayers Foundation, listen as Lipscomb University announces the new Ayers Institute.

The Ayers Foundation was created in 1999 in Parsons, Tennessee to improve the quality of life in Tennessee with a focus on education, conservation and social welfare.