Department Overview

  • The Office of General Counsel, sometimes referred to as the Legal Department, is comprised of three attorneys, an investigator, and an executive legal assistant. JoAnne N. Shepherd, General Counsel, serves as the Title IX Coordinator and can be reached at (601) 960-8916.

    The Office of General Counsel represents the administration, handles a variety of legal matters for the Jackson Public School District, and strives to practice preventive law. The attorneys represent the school district in legal matters. Its board attorney, Dorian Turner, also represents the School Board. The General Counsel attends all School Board meetings, and when the School Board sits as a decision-maker, the General Counsel represents the administration in employee discipline matters, student expulsions, and suspensions.

    It is the mission of the office to provide the highest quality legal services to the Jackson Public School District by providing sound legal advice and effective representation. The provision of quality services contributes to the District's core values of equity, excellence, respect, growth mindset, relationships, and a positive and respectful culture.

    The attorneys are available to answer calls from principals and administrators who seek advice on various issues. The General Counsel is available to conduct training on anti-discrimination laws including sexual harassment, code of ethics, bullying, policies, and other employment matters. Principals should contact the General Counsel's office when any staff member is in receipt of a subpoena or summons and complaint or is contacted by an investigator, attorney, or paralegal that is not employed by the school district. Principals should also contact the office with legal questions including custody issues such as to whom to release a student, student records, student discipline, sexual harassment, bullying, child abuse, employee discipline, school board policies, and contracts for programs, goods and services.

Contact Information

  • 662 South President Street
    Jackson, MS 39201
    Phone: (601) 960–8916
    Fax: (601) 960–8545

    Contact General Counsel

    JoAnne Nelson Shepherd 
    General Counsel/Title IX Coordinator 

    Sondra O. Moncure
    Senior Staff Attorney

    Donovan Mitchell
    Staff Attorney

    Valarie Young
    Investigator

    Felicia Graham
    Executive Legal Assistant

Last Modified on October 31, 2019