By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The Corinth School Board was introduced on Saturday to members of the community-based group who have hopes of assuming management of the South Corinth campus when the district vacates the facility in the fall.
The Easom Outreach Foundation has established a temporary board of directors to prepare for the transition, including securing funding for operations and long-term tenants to occupy the facility.
The South Corinth Focus Group, charged two years ago by the school board with devising a plan of action for such a transition, laid the groundwork and recruited the 13 foundation board members to serve.
“We are happy to report that we have located a group to take over the South Corinth school campus,” said focus group President Willie Davis. “The group represents a cross-section of the community, a group that is energetic and has taken on the project with great enthusiasm and has made tremendous progress in a very short time.”
Foundation board Chairman Samuel Crayton made an in-depth presentation to the school board, first giving a brief profile of each board member and a summary of accomplishments by the focus group and the board to date. He also:
– Identified grants to support programs for the facility.
– Secured verbal commitment from organizations, including AMEN Food Pantry, Crosswind Ministries, St. Paul Episcopal Church and First Methodist Church and Corinth Police Department, to place services for the community in the facility once the Foundation assumes management.
– Developed a membership structure for community-wide participation in the goals of the Foundation.
– Gained special project status through CREATE Foundation as fiscal agent to qualify for 501(c)3 nonprofit status to apply for certain grants and so donations by supporters could be tax-exempt.
– Improved the website www.easomoutreachfoundation.org to serve as a primary outreach and communication tool for the Foundation.
“You’ve done a lot of good work,” said school board Chairwoman Ann Walker.
Board member Missy Woodhouse, agreed, particularly with regard to the community partners who appear willing to come on board with the project.
District Superintendent Lee Childress emphasized the need for the Foundation to work closely with the school district as it prepares to apply for grants to assure the ventures were cooperative and not competitive. He stressed the need for cooperation in every aspect of the project to assure the Foundation did not introduce any entity that would compete with the goals of the school district.
Noting that the South Corinth cafeteria would be in use throughout June and July for summer programs, Childress said the two groups would be continuing discussions, and a possible transition timeline likely would be no sooner than September.
Easom Outreach Foundation Board of Directors
• Samuel Crayton: President of TCC Enterprises; Easom High School Class of 1966.
• Dr. Roy L. Irons, vice chairman: Dentist; Easom High School Class of 1968.
• Mona Lisa Grady, secretary-treasurer: Executive director of C.A.R.E.Community Foundation; Corinth High School Class of 1985.
• Edward Long, Jr., Esquire, parliamentarian: Managing Attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid in Texarkana, Texas; Easom High School Class of 1965.
• Gwendolyn Bishop Chambliss: Clinical instructor and supervisor at Jackson State University and daughter of the late Mayor Edward S. Bishop. Corinth Colored High School Class of 1951.
• Dr. Reuben E. Dilworth: School performance specialist with JBHM Education Group of Jackson; Easom High School Class of 1961.
• Raymond R. McClellan: Executive director of the Northeast Mississippi Business Incubation System; Easom High School Class of 1960.
• Jean Robbins McFarland: Co-owner of Educational Services, Inc. and part-time federal programs director and grant writer for the Alcorn County School District; Kossuth High School Class of 1962.
• Dr. Gary A. McGaha: President of Atlanta Metropolitan College; Easom High School Class of 1968.
• Tommy Morrison: Certified teacher in health, physical education, coaching and speech and retired after more than 30 years with Union Pacific Railroad; Easom High School Class of 1967.
• Wilford Reed Ray, A.I.A.: Owner of Matrix 3D Architects, Planners and Managers of Atlanta, Ga.; Easom High School Class of 1966.
• Edwin Walker: Retired entrepreneur in food concessions and professionally trained accountant with insurance sales experience; Easom High School Class of 1963.
• Dr. Evelyn Jumper Webb: Vice president of JBHM Education Group of Jackson; Easom High School Class of 1962.