Running a school district under any circumstances is no easy go and even less so when that district is the recently merged product of two systems. Simply put, that person will need to have some serious skills, along with a toolbox full of top-shelf characteristics.
Faced with finding a superintendent to run the merged Memphis City Schools-Shelby County Schools system, The Shelby County Board of Education (SCBE) reached for the help of PROACT Search. Now the board is reaching for more help – public input.
So, next week the SCBE will host two gatherings to give the public a chance to weigh in on the needed skills and characteristics of the new superintendent.
The Yanceys could easily be the poster family for actually spending time together. They get together at the kitchen table for worship and meals. They even sing, dance and perform professionally as a family. They also exercise together, trying to stay physically fit to keep up with their demanding schedule.
"We are a busy, revolving family. We're just trying to stay active," said Marcquinne Yancey, who married Johnny 30 years ago. They have three children – Annese, 22, Alaina, 20, and Nygel, 16 – and their most recent addition, 8-month-old grandson, Ari Marcell Yancey.
Staying active includes working out and losing weight, which is why the Yanceys signed up for the Healthy Church Challenge 100-day weight lost competition when it launched on Feb. 2 at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church.
(The political offices – Shelby County Commissioner, Memphis City Council member and Criminal Court Clerk – don't begin to tell the story of Minerva J. Johnican, who died last Friday (March 8) at Methodist University Hospital. She was 74. Former state Rep. Kathryn Bowers shares her unique view of the late Memphis trailblazer.)
Almost 42 years ago (March 24, 1971), the U.S. Congress passed the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, looking to clear obstacles to 18 year olds securing the right to vote. That "right" became official on July 1, 1971 when North Carolina ratified the Amendment. No Amendment had been ratified in a shorter period of time.
In 1970, an amendment to the 1965 Voting Rights Act had paved the way for 18 year olds to vote but it was determined that a Constitutional Amendment was required to apply in state and local elections.
When Ayanna McFarland graduated from Whitehaven High School in 2011, she left the Bluff City to pursue higher education. It wouldn't be the last time her hometown would see the budding leader. Now a junior English and secondary education major at Howard University in Washington, D.C., McFarland has returned to her Memphis roots for a good cause.
In its 19th year, the Howard University Alternative Spring Break Program (ASB) added Memphis to its eight-city roster, making it the largest spring break tour in the program's history. While in Memphis, Howard scholars split into two groups to tackle four-day mentoring sessions on health and education with approximately 114 Memphis City School students.
With a global point of view in mind, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. members have converged on Memphis for the 81st South Eastern Regional Conference.
The four-day conference – March 14-17 – is projected to attract 3,000-plus sorority members from the 105-year-old international sorority's South Eastern Region – Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi (known as the "ATM.")
Additional guests are expected to pour into the "Bluff City" from various points – nationally and internationally. The conference theme is "Global Leadership Through Timeless Service: Let the Good Times Roll Through Timeless Service."
On a Friday afternoon inside the cafeteria of Evans Elementary School, a sea of children danced to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," one of superstar Michael Jackson's biggest hits from the 80s. Though the song itself is twice their ages, they jumped and spun around anyway, showing teachers and parents in attendance their best moves.
Those students were being rewarded for good conduct for the month, and in the middle of it all was their principal, Cynthia Alexander-Mitchell.
The same day a judge blocked a ban on the sale of large, sugary drinks in New York City, senators in Mississippi approved, by a 50-1 vote, a bill that would prevent similar efforts in their state.
The legislation is known as the "Anti-Bloomberg" bill because the proposed ban in New York is supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"We believe there's enough regulation," said Mississippi state Sen. Tony Smith, the bill's author and a restaurant owner.