Sherry Davis’ confirmation Tuesday by the City Council brings to the Tupelo Public School Board a thoroughly and broadly qualified trustee with national credentials earned during her long teaching career, formerly in Tupelo and now at Itawamba Community College.
Davis, a graduate of Tupelo High School, also earned three degrees from the University of Mississippi. She has one son who is a THS graduate and another who is a senior.
She has described herself as a “passionate” supporter of Tupelo’s public schools.
Her nomination was announced early Friday by Mayor Jason Shelton, and she succeeds Beth Stone, who resigned mid-term because of family obligations.
Davis’ passion is matched by broad experiences in her academic specialty, the sciences, and she was recognized as the Walmart Phi Delta Kappa National Teacher of the Year in 2003, a signal honor for her and the Tupelo school district.
It is noteworthy that one of Davis’ undergraduate degrees is in business administration, adding a dimension that will well serve her and the district while she is a trustee.
Her list of professional accomplishments, awards, fellowships and advanced study is long and impressive. It ranges from studying climate change and its effects at the edge of the Arctic in northern Manitoba at the Churchill Northern Research Centre, to Princeton University’s Molecular Biology Workshop in 2010.
The scope of her advanced studies provides perspective on what international educational institutions require of students aspiring to professional excellence, whether in teaching or other disciplines. That viewpoint will be of great value in setting the standards of excellence for the Tupelo Public Schools in cooperation with fellow trustees and the district’s administrative leadership.
Davis is also a member of the Tupelo Coliseum Commission, a demanding position like the school board. It is legal for her to serve in both positions, and both are time consuming.
She has indicated she has the time and energy to serve on both. We hope she does not find herself short of time, making a choice between one or the other necessary.
Tupelo’s school board historically has been on the leading edge of progressive decisions for school improvement. New evaluation standards demand an especially sharp focus on learning and quantifiable achievement.
Davis, based on her record, is the kind of high-energy person needed as a trustee.