Cora Denise Stewart Lowe says she is guided by her faith.
Lowe, a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School Board, spoke to the Greenwood Voters League Wednesday.
She told the audience of about 20 people that her religious affinity and obedience to God led her to run.
Lowe, 62, a pastor at Bethlehem African Methodist Episcopal Church in Winona and a resident of the Rising Sun community, is one of two candidates who have qualified to run for the post.
Her opponent, Ro’Shaun A. Bailey, is assistant vice president of student affairs and campus life at Mississippi Valley State University.
The qualifying deadline is Sept. 6. The school board elections will be Nov. 5, the same date as the state’s general election.
“I rise before you tonight in the name of my lord and savior, Jesus Christ,” Lowe said. “I want you to know that one of the main reasons God chose me to run for this position is because he qualified me. He qualified me. I am a former classroom teacher for more than 35 years.”
Lowe, a Greenwood native and a graduate of Amanda Elzy High School, spent 25 years as a teacher in New Orleans. She evacuated in 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina hit and ravaged much of the city.
In her first year back home, she decided to “sit under the comfort of my mother,” take care of her children and travel back and forth to New Orleans. She then got a job at Mississippi Valley State University, her alma mater, as a recruiter for the university’s GED program.
Still, “I was missing something,” Lowe said.
She became an English language arts teacher at Greenwood Middle School.
Aside from her years as a classroom teacher, Lowe said she has other experience that would serve her well on the school board.
While in New Orleans, her children attended public magnet schools that featured site-based management.
This, she explained, is when a coalition of school administrators, teachers, parents and other educational stakeholders work together to lead the school. The coalition’s activities range from writing a budget to developing a curriculum. The school board still has to approve the decisions, she said.
Lowe said she’s had experience on the reading, science, finance and curriculum committees at the site-based management schools.
If elected, she said, she would work to strengthen the camaraderie between herself and other school board members and would also like to inform the public about the functions of the school board.
“I have the children’s best interests at heart. I have the educators’ best interests at heart. I have the parents’ best interests at heart,” Lowe said.
“I want you to know that I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t feel like this is what God wanted me to do.”
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