The Greenville Public School District has appointed a new member to its board of trustees.
At Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting, Antoinette Williams was appointed as a trustee to GPSD’s board for a five-year term.
Williams was appointed by a 3-2 vote with council members Bill Boykin, Al Brock and James Wilson voting for the appointment and council members Lois Hawkins and Lurann Thomas voting opposed.
Vice Mayor Tasha Banks abstained from the vote.
Williams was elected to the seat currently held by Dr. Loretta Shannon who was seeking reappointment and will begin her term March 1.
She serves as program director for Child Care Solutions, which entails building and maintaining a sponsorship program which aids in child care, adult care, in home daycare and at risk centers in Mississippi through the process of enrolling and maintaining the MDE-Child and Adult Care Food program.
Williams holds a degree in business administration and computer information systems from Delta State University.
In addition, she was awarded GPSD parent of the year in 2018 and 2019.
Other applicants who were seeking appointment as a trustee to the GPSD board were Dr. Daphne Brown and Dr. David Frierson.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted to enter in a resolution to the Mississippi State Legislature, requesting its consideration for the City of Greenville to hold elections for the appointment of school board trustees, which would, in turn, allow other municipalities in the state to hold elections for such.
Council members and residents alike expressed their sentiments as it regarding the current process of appointing school board trustees.
Vice Mayor Tasha Banks told the council after having conversations with District 50 state representative John Hines about possibly changing the current process of appointment, he indicated it could indeed be done.
“As a new member of this city, to hear that there are appointed members of the school’s board for five-year terms and that citizens have no input in those endeavors, I find that very disturbing,” one resident said.
“Totally agree,” Banks responded.
“Especially if the school district is in the state that it’s in and if this city wants to attract other people and businesses, a lot more has got to be done to improve this school district and the education of the children in this area,” she said.
City attorney Andy Alexander highlighted the current process of appointing school board trustees has just always been the law for municipalities.
“With the law like it is now, we’re going to have at through the legislature,” he said.
Councilman Brock said it would take an act by the entire state of Mississippi, made a motion for the council to draft a resolution that would begin the process of implementing elections for the appointment of school board trustees.
Vice Mayor Banks seconded the motion and the board voted for it unanimously.