Wednesday, May 19, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday announced nine nominations to three boards that govern public education from kindergarten through college.
The nominees must be confirmed by the state Senate. Reeves made the nominations after some vacancies had occurred because members' terms had expired — a situation that meant boards could lack a quorum to conduct business if too many members missed meetings.
Six of the nominees are white men. Two are white women, and one is a Black woman.
In a news release, the Republican governor said improving achievement at all levels of education is critical to Mississippi's long-term success. He said he is confident that the nominees “have the credentials and unique and diverse experiences to help us continue improving Mississippi’s education system in a way that prioritizes students above all else.”
His nominees to the Institutions of Higher Learning board, which oversees the eight public universities, are:
— Ormella Cummings, of Itawamba County, to represent northern Mississippi. She is chief strategy officer for North Mississippi Health Services. Cummings earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Mississippi.
— Teresa Hubbard, of Lafayette County, to represent northern Mississippi. Hubbard is president and CEO of CITE Armored, an armored car manufacturing company in Holly Springs and Batesville. Her bachelor's degree is from Delta State University.
— Hal Parker, of Hinds County, to represent central Mississippi. Parker has served on the board since 2012. He is general partner of Parker Land, LLC, a land management company. His bachelor's degree is from Mississippi State University.
— Gregg Rader, of Lowndes County, to represent northern Mississippi. He has served as CEO of Columbus Recycling Corporation. His bachelor's degree is from Mississippi State University.
Reeves announced two nominees to the State Board of Education:
— Wendi Barrett, of Harrison County, as the teacher representative. She teaches English at St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs. Barrett earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master's degree and doctoral degree from William Carey University.
— Matt Miller, of Lamar County, to represent southern Mississippi. Miller is an attorney who earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi a law degree from the University of Mississippi.
Reeves announced three nominees to the Community College Board:
— Luke Montgomery, of Itawamba County, has been nominated to return to his seat representing the former 1st Congressional District. Montgomery is president and CEO of Montgomery Enterprises, Inc. His bachelor's degree is from Mississippi State University.
— Johnny McRight, of Washington County, has been nominated to return to his seat representing the former 2nd Congressional District. He owns and operates McRight Services, LLC. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi.
— Will Symmes, of Harrison County, has been nominated to represent the former 5th Congressional District. Symmes is an attorney with a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from Mississippi College.