Who are the candidates to open a seat on the Memphis school board?

Three Memphisians have thrown their hats into the ring to fill the Memphis-Shelby County School Board District 7 seat vacated by Miska Clay Bibbs.

Clay Bibbs has represented Southeastern Memphis communities in the 7th Ward, such as Parkway Village and Oakhaven, since 2014, but she left the board in August after winning the election for the Shelby County Commission, which will name her successor.

The committee will interview the three applicants on October 2nd at 2.30pm. Michael Whaley, vice chairman of the committee’s education committee, said the vote will be held later on the 17th.

The applicant is:

  • According to his LinkedIn profile, Terrell Mitchell is an educator who teaches for America.
  • According to his LinkedIn profile, Frank Johnson is a former MSCS teacher and current South Memphis community activist, Center for Community Transformation. The Renovation Community Center describes itself as a nonprofit organization “dedicated to the holistic transformation of the community and community in and around Memphis.”
  • Memphis youth and community advocate Jason Sharif has been with Whole Child Strategies for more than 20 years, and his biography is a nonprofit that supports children and families affected by poverty. Before becoming a community organizer there, the Whitehaven native worked as an investigator, juvenile justice probation officer and juvenile justice regional coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Sharif also previously taught sixth-grade social studies at Craigmont Middle School and was director of the Boys and Girls Club at Westwood High School.

Chalkbeat will update this story with more information once a copy of the candidate’s application is available.

The appointee will fill the seat for the remainder of Clay Bibbs’ term, which expires in August 2024. The person will join two other new board members at a juncture — Keith Williams of District 6 and Amber Huett-Garcia of District 8. The board began the district’s first national search for a director in more than a decade.

Newly-appointed board chair Althea Greene announced on Tuesday that she was delaying the search for a replacement for former superintendent Joris Ray for several weeks so the newest member of the board could expedite the process.

Samantha West is a reporter for Chalkbeat Tennessee, where she covers K-12 education in Memphis.Connect with Samantha swest@chalkbeat.org.

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