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LDS educators finally have a place of their own.

For decades, Mormon professionals have been able to join dozens of associations, physicians and dentists, historians and archaeologists, publishers and mental health providers. There’s a National LDS Homeschool Association.

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This weekend, a band of professors, teachers, administrators, students and others launched the LDS Educators Association and held their first conference at BYU, with keynote speeches by BYU-Hawaii President John S. Tanner and Brother Tad R. Callister, general Sunday School president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There’s certainly plenty of potential members and interest. The LDS Church Educational System currently has a record 1.2 million students around the world, with tens of thousands of teachers, said Mark Woodruff, assistant to the commissioner of church education.

With little and late notice, more than 150 people attended Saturday’s sessions at the Maeser Building on the campus of Brigham Young University.

“This was inspired, and I’m so glad I came even though it was an expensive, last-minute trip for me,” said Rhea Overson, a kindergarten teacher’s assistant from Charlotte, North Carolina.

For Pleasant Grove’s Melinda McDanel, a sixth-grade teacher who just completed a master’s degree in educational leadership at BYU, the association is a chance to replace her support group of fellow graduate students with a national organization.

“Education is such a hot topic these days, you want support from people who share your beliefs,” McDanel said. “The day was fabulous. It was very worthwhile. Everything had a purpose, and I learned a lot.

To read the full article on the Deseret News, click here