The Jackson City Council meeting

With two new confirmations Tuesday, the Jackson Public Schools school board needs just one more member before it is at full strength.

Jackson City Council confirmed two more of Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s nominations during a meeting Tuesday night.

Robert Luckett and Andrea Jones-Davis will join Ed Sivak, Letitia Simmons-Johnson, Barbara Hilliard and Jeanne Hairston on the district’s Board of Trustees.

Luckett is the director of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, where he is also an associate professor of history. He is also is an advisory board member for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Leadership Greater Jackson, among other groups.

Luckett told the council he has two children currently enrolled in the school district and is a product of public schools.

“My goal as a school board member would be to immerse myself in Jackson Public Schools and in the work and in the children of JPS,” Luckett said.

Luckett told council members in all the work he’s done he has tried to make himself a part of the community and engage in the work “on a grassroots level.”

“I believe in that, and I believe schools are the most important institutions that we have and they need to serve all of our people.”

Jones-Davis is the interim dean of enrollment management at Tougaloo College and instructional leader at Toot, Teach and Roll, a mobile learning lab that travels around the Jackson area to provide art education. The Grenada native has lived in Jackson for more than 35 years, and also worked as the executive director of JSUOnline, Jackson State University’s online learning program.

A graduate of Murrah High School, Jones-Davis said she is “committed to the well being of the whole student.”

“With my diverse background I feel that I can really be a part of this transformational team and provide assistance in making data-driven decisions and making sure we have a sustainable program in our district,” she said.

The new members have yet to meet as a board – the previous board members resigned as part of a new partnership between Gov. Phil Bryant’s office, the City of Jackson, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“We have taken a lot of time to try and pick the best people possible to reconstitute our school board in a way that will transform the school district,” said Safiya Omari, Lumumba’s chief of staff.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28.

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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.