Dr. Joe Thomas

Each follower of this Blog knows I strongly believe in “divine intervention”.  Perhaps you recall Hailey Tibbett and our chance encounter.  Hailey’s story is covered in my Post dated January 14, 2014.  Such chance encounters have happened a lot during my first year with the Learning Center.  I have been very blessed to have these encounters with people who have a “heart of a servant”.  The same experience I had with Hailey and her family.

Please meet my friend Dr. Joe Thomas, another “Key” friend of Copey and certainly a friend with the “heart of a servant”.  Joe has been mentioned a couple of times before but as testimony of another “divine intervention” and an example of the “heart of a servant”, I dedicate this Post to Joe.

Joe’s credentials are impressive and his willingness to put these credentials into service to others is equally noteworthy. Currently, Joe is  employed by Junior Achievement USA as Vice President of Evaluation and Research and at the time of our chance encounter, he was the CEO for the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and Managing Editor of two educational websites, WatchKnowLearn and Reading Bear, one of which is the number-one Google-rated website for K-12 educational videos.  

Prior to WatchKnowLearn, Joe served as Chief Learning Officer and Chief Operating Officer for a Memphis-based consulting firm specializing in the development of web-based training courses for FedEx, Hilton Hotels, the State of Texas, and various government agencies. He is a former member of senior management at NIKE, Inc. where he worked in Asia and Europe coaching international teams how to operate new distributions centers, and FedEx where he served as a senior industrial psychologist.

Joe earned a B.A. and M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University at Fullerton, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Our introduction was a result of “divine intervention”.

Our chance encounter only happened because in the last minute my original plans to not attend that Friday’s Kiwanis Club meeting suddenly changed. This change in my plans allowed me to be present to hear Joe, as our guest speaker, provide his very informative presentation on the web based training WatchKnowLearn.

While listening to Joe’s presentation, I immediately saw the possible connection between the web-based educational videos and the Learning Center’s objective to provide English education to its students.  We met following the Kiwanis meeting and without any hesitation, Joe expressed his interest in working with us. I quickly witnessed Joe’s “heart of a servant”.

Joe determined that Reading Bear would be a better potential fit for the needs of the Learning Center. He is now working directly with the staff at the Learning Center and the Reading Bear web-based program has been introduced to several students.  The early reports from the Learning Center indicate the work is going well and we are very optimistic this will become an integral part of the English education process.

The “friends of Copey” have been really blessed with “key” friends such as Joe and Hailey. There are other “key” friends who are involved sharing their talents, skills, and expertise.  Each of us have something to offer if no more than our ongoing encouragement and support.  Joe…we all thank you for helping us make a significant difference in Copey.

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