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Our Roots 

The Central Creativity story began over 40 years ago, when Dr. Marjann Ball started her education career as a classroom teacher and reading specialist.  She went on to become an instructor of reading/writing/study strategies at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, MS. During her time as a professor, she soon realized that even students at the post-secondary level were struggling with the ability to think critically and process information effectively. As a result of her research and efforts to find solutions to these fundamental educational challenges, she discovered a set of eight visuals called Thinking Maps®.

These powerful tools connect a specific visual to each of the eight basic thought processes that form the basis of all critical and creative thinking. Through her involvement with Thinking Maps® as a research partner and by observing the significant impact that the Maps made in her classroom, she left the college and formed Educational Consultants.

Through Educational Consultants, she provided professional development for teachers and administrators in Thinking Maps®.  As Educational Consultants grew in scope and complexity, Dr. Ball's daughter, Jenny, and son-in-law, Rhye, joined the company and helped it mature into a leader in state educational excellence.

Over the course of our 30-year journey in conducting on-site trainings and visitations at school sites, we realized that in order to really make an impact in our state, we needed a brick and mortar facility from which to model and demonstrate new ideas and platforms. We needed a place where we could teach students in an educational environment of our own design; a place where teachers and administrators could come and visit model classrooms powered by instruction in critical and creative thinking skills.      

Thinking Maps® are currently being successfully implemented in the top school districts in the state of Mississippi, while also making positive gains in many other districts throughout the state. After years of innovating, Educational Consultants is still changing student lives, one classroom at a time, throughout the state of Mississippi and beyond.

The Facts

  • Mississippi is 50th in national student achievement rankings. 1
  • Mississippi ranked 50th for high school students on their performance in physics and calculus. 2
  • MIssissippi is often rated last on high school graduation rates.  3
  • Nearly 30 percent of Mississippi high school students drop out.  4
  • Mississippi ranks 50th in the nation in per capita income . 4
  • More than 65% of Mississippi's children are entering Kindergarten underprepared to perform.  5
  • Mississippi ranks 49th of 50 states in average teacher salary.  6
  • 50% of Mississippi teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years of teaching.  7

Our Mission

It has always been our mission to support opportunities for students to become informed and engaged learners who have the ability to process information, analyze outcomes, and take ownership of their educational future. As leaders on the forefront of brain-based learning, we feel that it is our obligation to help develop independent learners who can thrive in a wide variety of situations, relying on their abilities to think critically in order to find solutions that are both creative, effective, and meaningful.  

To support this mission, Central Creativity is being developed as a brick and mortar educational center focused on supporting all existing forms of learning within our communities. Its goal is to provide a physical space where educators, parents, and community leaders can learn how to create a vibrant and enriched student-base, ready to take advantage of 21st-century opportunities for the benefit of both the student and the community as a whole.

Our Vision

Our vision is for Central Creativity to become more than just another program. By combining cutting-edge 21st Century learning design with innovative teaching practices, we want to become a model of educational excellence in our state and, ultimately, the rest of the nation. We are doing more than just building an educational space; we are re-thinking the way that education can be taught in order to positively impact the entire community.  We are creating a blueprint that can be handed out to other

communities throughout our state that want to involve themselves in the growth of their young learners and future workforce. Our emphasis on developing independent, critical thinkers may become the catalyst Mississippi needs to move from the nation’s lowest educational ranking to a leader in educational change. We invite you to participate, in whatever way that you can.