Governor, Mayor announce members of new JPS commission - - Jackson, MS

Governor, Mayor announce members of new JPS commission

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Leaders in the city have appointed commissioners to the new independent group created to help Jackson Public Schools instead of allowing a state takeover.

RELATED: Governor's J.P.S. takeover alternative plan

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and W. K. Kellogg Foundation appointed these members to the commission.

The group is called "The Better Together Commission" and is an independent group with 15 members. The group is designed to help JPS chart a new path towards change in the district.

The Commission's charge reads as follows:

The Commission’s charge is to lead efforts to create a bold new vision for educational transformation in the Jackson Public School District. Cooperative Planning, intelligent study and engaged community are our values.

“I believe that a strong educational system is the basis of an economic model based on human dignity. I am deeply appreciative of these Commissioners sharing their skills to better our community. As we work together to build a bold new vision of our city, let us start where it matters most – the future of our children,” said, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

“I am grateful for these individuals’ willingness to serve, and for their commitment to bring transformational change to Jackson Public Schools. I look forward to the Commission beginning work as we move toward becoming Better Together,” said Governor Phil Bryant.

The Better Together Commission will hold its first meeting Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 10:00 am at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The meeting is open to the public.

The commissioners appointed are all volunteer leaders who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. They include government, education, faith, and philanthropy leaders and were carefully chosen by our state leaders and the Kellog Foundation.

  • Dr. Ivye L. Allen
    • President of the Foundation for the Mid South, a regional foundation serving Arkansas, LA, and MS. 
  • Claiborne Barksdale
    • Former CEO of the Barksdale Reading Institute
  • Dr. Robert Blaine
    • Serves as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jackson
  • Dr. Geraldine Chaney
    • Serves as a pediatrician in Jackson and has practiced for over 30 years
  • Cheryl Coleman
    • Parent, native of Jackson and graduate of Provine High School with two children who graduated from JPS
  • Ronnie Crudup, Sr.
    • Administrative Bishop for the Fellowship of International Churches and senior pastor of New Horizon Church International
  • Dr. Kathleen Grigsby
    • Principal at Davis World IB Elementary School, first person to graduate from MS College with Doctorate in Administration
  • Dr. Shauna Nicholson-Johnson
    • Principal at Baker Elementary School, earned Doctorate Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education
  • Charles McClelland
    • Elected to serve as Chair of the Mississippi Board of Education in 2010, spent majority of career in public education as teacher and principal at several schools through Mississippi
  • Paheadra Bratton Robinson
    • Mississippi Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Censur Bureau, formerly worked as a public interest attorney where she led statewide reform efforts
  • Yumeka Burt Rushing
    • Program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Michigan with an office stationed in Jackson
  • Dr. Laurie Smith
    • Serves as Education and Workforce Development Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant and Executive Director of the State Early Childhood Advisory Council
  • Ed Sivak
    • Executive Vice President with the Hope Enterprise Corporation whose work has appeared in the Wallstreet Journal
  • Leland R. Speed
    • Native of Jackson, attended Jackson schools and is now a pioneer in the REIT industry
  • Laketia Marshall-Thomas
    • Assistant Superintendent of Area 2 with Jackson Public Schools. She was awarded the Amos Wright Award for community involvement and superior academic performance and the Outstanding Leadership in Education Award

To read their complete bios, read attachment below.

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