Davis school appointment expected



By Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Longtime Tupelo educator Sherry Davis’ city board nomination appears likely to breeze through the City Council confirmation vote next week.

Mayor Jason Shelton nominated Davis to fill the unexpired term of school board member Beth Stone, who resigned in October to spend more time with her family. The term ends in March 2015.

Davis’ nomination requires a majority approval from City Council members, who plan to vote on the issue Tuesday. She would bring experiences as a student, parent and teacher to the Tupelo Public School District.

Davis, 47, taught for 17 years as a middle and high school science teacher in the Tupelo school district and currently teaches biology, anatomy and physiology at Itawamba Community College’s Tupelo campus.

City Council members contacted by the Daily Journal on Friday described Davis’ years of teaching, other roles in the school district and professional accolades as reasons to support her nomination on the five-member school board.

Most council members know Davis as the wife of former Ward 5 Councilman Jonny Davis but spoke glowingly about her qualifications to serve on the school district’s policymaking board.

“She’s been through the system and knows the strengths and weaknesses of the school system,” said Markel Whittington, Ward 1 councilman. “She’ll be a good asset to the school board.”

Ward 2 Councilman Lynn Bryan echoed similar support.

Davis maintains a connection with the school district through her younger son, Benjamin, attending his senior year at Tupelo High School. Her 2-year-old granddaughter also lives in the city.

Davis earned a graduate degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in general science from the University of Mississippi. Among many honors, she received the Walmart Phi Delta Kappa national teacher of the year award in 2003.

“She has the heart for the public school system,” said Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings. “I support her 100 percent.”

Ward 5 Councilman Buddy Palmer called her credentials “absolutely outstanding.” However, he has a list of questions to ask her before he casts his vote. One is whether she has enough time to devote to the position.

Sherry Davis currently serves on the city’s coliseum commission. Reached Friday, she said, if confirmed to the school board, she plans to retain her coliseum commissioner position.

“I have lots of time and energy to volunteer in different places,” she said. “I see synergy between the two.”

Shelton asked Davis to be available to meet with City Council members from 3 to5 p.m. Monday, a period that overlaps with the council’s 4 p.m. agenda review to prepare for Tuesday’s meeting.

Council members Nettie Davis of Ward 4 and Mike Bryan of Ward 6 could not be reached for comment. Councilman Jim Newell of Ward 3 was out of town Friday and said he hadn’t formally learned about Davis’ nomination and had no immediate comment.


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