Reeves appoints three to new charter school board

JACKSON – Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has appointed three individuals to the newly created Public Charter Schools Authorizing Board.

The board will monitor the creation and management of public charter schools in Mississippi.

Reeves appointed Ridgeland attorney Tommie Cardin, Ocean Springs superintendent Bonita Coleman-Potter and Oxford businesswoman Karen Elam to the board.

The appointees will be presented for confirmation by the Mississippi Senate in the 2014 legislative session.

The new members will join appointees by Gov. Phil Bryant, which include Johnny Franklin, Chris Wilson and Krystal Cormack. State superintendent Lynn House also serves on the board.

Cardin, a Clinton resident, is past president of the Clinton Public School District board of trustees and served on the board of directors for the Central District of the Mississippi School Boards Association. He has been an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law. Currently, he is the practice group leader of the government, environment and energy group at Butler Snow. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University and earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi.

Coleman-Potter, a former Clinton teacher, brings experience managing public charter schools to the new board. Prior to serving as Ocean Springs superintendent, she was deputy superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland where her duties included overseeing the district’s public charter schools. Previously, Coleman-Potter worked at the Mississippi Department of Education as associate state superintendent for Office of Academic Education and as bureau director in the Office of Reading, Early Childhood and Language Arts. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Tougaloo College, a master’s degree in English from the University of Mississippi and a doctorate in educational administration from Jackson State University.

Elam, an Oxford resident, is a businesswoman and former college professor. She is president of Elam Consulting representing food and drug ingredient industry associations on regulatory issues. Previously, she worked at Nabisco Inc. where she held several positions, including senior director of consumer and scientific affairs and senior director of nutrition and consumer affairs. Elam created policies on nutrition, health and food safety, and helped the company develop product growth strategies and markets. Prior to her work at Nabisco, she was an associate professor of human nutrition, foods and food systems management at the University of Missouri and an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Michigan State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from Purdue University, a master’s degree in food science from Michigan State University and a doctorate in consumer economics from the University of Missouri.

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