Two candidates in running for school board seat

Staff Writer

Two candidates are vying to replace Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District board of Trustees president Jenny Turner.

The selection will be named at a meeting of the Starkville Board of Aldermen at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The candidates include Melissa Luckett and Debra Prince.

Both Prince and Luckett are employed by Mississippi State University. Prince previously applied for a school board seat following the 2015 resignation of Anne Weaver-Reese from the board, ultimately losing the seat to Anne Stricklin.
“for me, it’s the ultimate form of service, the form of service that I see as being the most beneficial to the community,” said Prince, an associate professor in the MSU College of Education.

Prince said she feels that student achievement is the most important issue for the district and that she would hope to work closely with others in the district both on and off the board. She is a Starkville native and Starkville High School alumna, and has three children, one of whom is enrolled at Armstrong Middle School.

Luckett is a project coordinator at the MSU research and curriculum unit and has served in several positions as a volunteer with the district, including co-president of the Sudduth Elementary Parent Organization and president of the Armstrong PTA.

“With a background in public policy and administration, I recognize that a quality public education is essential for a thriving community,” Luckett said in a statement. “Many of society’s ailments can be ad- dressed with access to a good education. Whether the issue is crime, healthcare or poverty, somehow a link can be made to education or a lack thereof.”

Turner announced that she would not seek reappointment to the board on Feb. 1, citing the graduation of both of her children as a primary reason.

The seat is one of three appointed by the Starkville Board of Aldermen, while the remaining two are elected by Oktibbeha County residents outside the Starkville city limits.