Dr. Ro’Shaun Bailey says his life has been influenced by the education he received as a child.
Growing up in Itta Bena, he noticed the role education could play in modeling people’s lives. He recalls influential teachers, such as one who didn’t see color in her students and another teacher who took students on a field trip out of Leflore County.
It was those teachers and experiences that led him to go into a career in education, Bailey told the Greenwood Voters League Wednesday night.
Bailey is running for the Leflore County District 4 seat on the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School Board.
Kelvin Pulley, who’s running as a Democrat for Leflore County prosecutor, also spoke.
Bailey, assistant vice president of student affairs and campus life at Mississippi Valley State University, has 12 years of education experience. He previously served at Valley as an Upward Bound chemistry and physics teacher for students in grades 9-12. He also taught biology at MVSU.
“The apple does not fall far from the tree,” said Bailey, who comes from a family of educators.
He said he finds it problematic that teachers and students are viewed through separate lenses when they should in fact be viewed through the same lens.
“Student success is often determined by the instruction they receive,” he said. On a similar note, he said successful teachers are determined by the success of their students.
Later, Bailey was asked by David Jordan, president of the Voters League, for his thoughts on whether the school district should issue bonds to repair the schools.
“I support a bond issue,” Bailey said. He added, however, that “it’s impossible to support 12 schools in a school district.”
He said he does not yet know what process might be used to close any schools.
Bailey’s opponent is Cora Denise Stewart Lowe, a retired Greenwood Middle School teacher and a pastor at Bethlehem African Methodist Episcopal Church in Winona.
The deadline to qualify to run for the school board is 5 p.m. Friday. The school board elections will be held Nov. 5 during the general election.
Pulley is seeking to unseat incumbent prosecutor Richard Oakes, who has held the position since 2000. Oakes is running as an independent.
Pulley said he was “born to serve” and has come from a family dedicated to public service. Growing up, he saw his father, the now-deceased Cedell Pulley, serve in several capacities, such as a father and school administrator.
He said his mother, Dr. Margie Pulley, a superintendent of the former Greenwood School District, also served, as well as his grandmother, Claudine Brown, a longtime Leflore County School Board member who provided for the Browning community.
“I grew up around public service. I had a front-row seat to public service,” Pulley said.
“As your next prosecutor, I pledge to pursue fairness and defend justice with all the cases that come through Justice Court. The severe cases in Justice Court are DUIs and domestic violence cases,” he said.
As a former Indianola city prosecutor, Pulley said he’s had experience with DUI and domestic violence cases. Through his private law practice at the Pulley Law Firm in Greenwood, he’s also dealt with cases ranging from personal injury to family law to criminal defense. He is also the attorney for the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School Board.
“As your next prosecutor, I will bring a familiar face to this office that has seemingly been hidden from the public’s view,” he said.
•Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.