Wheeler to become new school board member

The DeSoto County School District (DCS) has announced that a new board member will be sworn into office on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 9:15 a.m. We’ve learned who that new person will be.  

Jerald Wheeler confirmed to DeSoto County News Saturday that he is being appointed to fill the remainder of Ann Jolley’s term on the board. 

Wheeler, who leads the Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff (VIPS) citizens program for the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, said he was asked and accepted the opportunity to fill Jolley’s role on the board. Wheeler works with the Sheriff’s Department as a deputy for the VIPS program and also with the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy. 

Jolley, who has been recently dealing with health issues, resigned from the board Oct. 1 after serving for 34 years. She represented District 3 in the westernmost part of DeSoto County.  

Wheeler said he has a passion for youngsters. In his work in law enforcement, his involvement in youth included a Police Explorer program when he was with the Southaven Police Department, before his retirement and later move to the Sheriff’s Department. The Southaven program mentored teenagers who had an interest in law enforcement. 

Board member terms are six years in length for county school districts, such as DeSoto County Schools. Jolley was last elected to the board in November 2018. Elections are staggered to avoid the possibility of an entire board being replaced at the same time.

Wheeler’s first meeting as a school board member will immediately follow his swearing-in ceremony at 10 a.m. on Oct. 20.  

Two other board seats are up for election on the November general election ballot. Josh Sullivan and James “Eric” Wright are vying for the seat in District 1 held by Milton Nichols, who did not run for re-election. Current District 2 board member Michele Henley is facing April Wright as Henley is running for a second term on the board.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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