Steele re-nominated for Hattiesburg school board seat

Steele re-nominated for Hattiesburg school board seat

Hattiesburg, Miss. (WDAM) – Mayor Toby Barker nominated Monday Eric Steele for reappointment to the Hattiesburg Public School District Board of Trustees.

In a news conference at the school board’s meeting room, Barker requested Steele be considered for another five-year term.

His re-nomination will be placed before the City Council on April 6 for approval.

“Academic excellence requires three things - resources, leadership and community involvement,” Barker said. “Mr. Eric Steele embodies all three, and I’ve leaned on him several times since I took office in 2017.

“Over and over, he has chosen to embrace service, encouragement and hard work with actions behind his words. It’s evident that he is passionate about education, and I’m grateful he is accepting my (renomination) for another five-year term.”

Steele is a Hattiesburg native with a vast military and logistics background built throughout his 24 years of service to the United States Army. He is a 1971 graduate of Rowan High School and holds a social arts and science degree from Alcorn State University.

“Education is personal to Mr. Steele,” Barker said. “Both of his parents, Edward and Inez Steele, were school teachers in the Hattiesburg Public School District. He knows first-hand how important leadership and service is to the school system.

“In the tough season in which we find ourselves, we want our citizens to know that we continue to take necessary steps that will continue pushing Hattiesburg toward excellence. Appointing leaders like Mr. Steele play a vital role in that.”

As a school board member, Steele will continue to work alongside fellow board members to create district policy and manage the allocation of district resources.

Steele was first appointed to the board in 2016 and if approved, will continue representing Ward 5 neighborhoods in his seat.

“It’s an honor to be (renominated) to this position,” Steele said. “This is an opportunity for me to give back to the community and to all the people who helped me get to the position where I am now. This is something I have a passion for, and I look forward to the future. It’s a great day to be a Tiger!”

Steele’s nomination rounds out a full slate of appointments by Barker. The following are currently serving with Steele on the Board of Trustees:

  • Delores McNair, president
  • Yolanda Morris
  • Eddie Holloway
  • Neil Rogers

This announcement comes on the heels of several Hattiesburg Public Schools being recognized by the Mississippi Association for Partners in Education for excellence achieved for community partnerships and leadership involvement.

These awards include:

2021 Governor’s Award

Middle School/Junior High Level

  • N. R. Burger Middle School

Elementary Level

  • Grace Christian Elementary
  • Woodley Elementary
  • Hawkins Elementary
  • Thames Elementary

Awards for Pandemic Partnership Response

  • Hawkins Elementary
  • N.R. Burger Middle School
  • Thames Elementary

University Level

  • William Carey University School of Education and Community Partners

2021 Partnership Excellence Awards

Elementary Level

  • Lillie Burney STEAM Academy
  • Rowan Elementary

Multi-Level School Level

  • Mary Bethune School

Pandemic Partnership Response

  • Rowan Elementary

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