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Oak Forest

Elementary School

Principal

Dr. Lorenda R. Cheeks

Phone: (601) 371-4330

Email: lcheeks@jackson.k12.ms.us

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Specialist in Educational Leadership

Dr. Lorenda R. Cheeks

Biography

Adventurous, creative, genuine, and passionate are all adjectives that describe Dr. Lorenda R. Cheeks.  Dr. Cheeks is foremost an educator in addition to being an avid community supporter for at-risk youth. She believes that all adolescents can prosper if given the appropriate guidance to develop and enhance their unique abilities and skills.  A certified educator in Elementary Education and School Leadership, Dr. Cheeks has spent many years studying and learning about child development as well as teaching while growing professionally. She has also expended time researching best practices for impacting student achievement through teacher empowerment and development.

Dr. Cheeks received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Tougaloo College in 1996. During her matriculation at Tougaloo College, she represented Tougaloo College as Miss Junior in 1993 and Miss Education in 1994. Though her initial goal was to become a school psychometrist, Dr. Cheeks was encouraged to study School Leadership because of her powerful organizational and management skills, her passion for learning, and her clear understanding of expectations needed to become an effective teacher. Dr. Cheeks eventually ventured into the discipline of school leadership in 1996. After many hours of hard work and dedication to her study of school supervision and leadership, Dr. Cheeks received a Masters of Arts degree in 1998 later followed by a Specialist degree in 2004, both in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College.  Dr. Cheeks completed her doctoral degree at Delta State University where she studied to perfect her craft as an instructional leader.

Educationally speaking, Dr. Cheeks began her career as an Instructional Assistant in 1995. Shortly thereafter, she became a certified teacher where she taught bright eyed and energetic students from 1996 to 1999.  During these years, Dr. Cheeks was afforded the opportunity to teach in many capacities educating students in grades spanning from kindergarten to third grade.  In 2000, Dr. Cheeks served as a Reading Facilitator for the Success for All School model.   Dr. Cheeks became an elementary school assistant principal with the Jackson Public School district during the 2001 school year in which she served for 10 years.  In the year of 2010, Dr. Cheeks became the principal of Oak Forest Elementary.  Currently, she continues serving the students, parents, and the community of this great school.

The field of public servitude is one that Dr. Cheeks is no stranger to. In 1997, she received the Community Service Award from the Genesis and Light Youth Center where she tutored students.  She has also served as a well-known Girl Scout leader in the Jackson, Mississippi community for over twenty years.  Her dedication and devotion to helping girls establish and maintain resilience and positivity in their own lives and the lives of others earned her the title of “Miss. Girl Scout Lady”.  Because of her tireless efforts and insurmountable amount of time she has dedicated to our youth, she was awarded the Community Champion honor through General Mills’ Feeding Dreams and Segmenting Marketing, Incorporation. Shortly after this recognition in 2010, she was also recognized as Educator of the Year by One Church One School for her involvement in the community.  Professionally, she has received several nominations for Metro Jackson Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Dr. Cheeks is a strong advocate for children. She believes that all students should be taught through hands-on inquiry based learning.  She further confirms that positive adult role models are essential to children growing and developing into productive citizens that contribute to society. Dr. Cheeks considers that the ultimate purpose of education is to prepare and to provide students with the necessary tools to live healthy and productive lives. She deems that education transcends the classroom and is a continuous life process that involves the constant development of skills and abilities. She also believes that the opportunity to learn exists within every facet of life and it is imperative that we take full advantage of each chance that we receive.

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