During the first school board meeting of his tenure with Jackson Public Schools, Dr. Cedrick Gray introduced four members of his administrative team who are also new to the district. Each of these professionals brings a wide range of skills and experiences as executives for schools, universities, and government in cities throughout the south United States. Dr. Lorene Essex, Darryl Anderson, Andrew Perpener, and Vonda Beaty addressed the audience and were welcomed by the School Board during the July 18 regular meeting.
Dr. Lorene Essex, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum
Dr. Essex was previously Deputy Superintendent/Personnel Director for Fayette County Schools in Somerville, Tennessee, where she helped increase the number of Highly Qualified teachers in the school district through recruitment and retention efforts. Dr. Essex earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Elementary Education, a Specialist in Education degree in Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Education degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama. She has also earned an Executive MBA in Business from the University of Memphis.
Darryl Anderson, Chief Communications Officer
Anderson served as the Director of Operations for the Local Government Solutions Group of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a Xerox Company. He provided executive management support, consulting, and leadership development to account managers as well as public sector executives. Anderson has memberships in a number of communications and technology associations and has served as President of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. Anderson holds degrees from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Andrew Perpener, Executive Director of Finance
Perpener comes to the district with 30 years of experience in leadership, management, accounting, education, and integrated technologies. He was the Business Manager of Fayette County School District before his recent move to Jackson. He helped the district overcome audit challenges and instituted a system that led to an increase in its fund balance. Perpener has degrees and certifications from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, the Robert R. Moten Institute of Business in Virginia, Memphis State University in Memphis, Tennessee, and All Saints Bible College in Memphis, Tennessee.
Vonda Beaty, Executive Director of Academic Support for Middle Schools
A 1987 graduate of Jackson State University, Beaty returns to Jackson after building a career in education in Tennessee. She served as Interim Coordinator of Special Services and elementary school principal in Fayette County Schools in Somerville, Tennessee. She trained special education faculty and developed an accountability checklist for them as part of a successful response to state department recommendations for the district's special education program. Beaty received a bachelor's degree from Jackson State University, a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and a Specialist in Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. She is currently a doctoral student.