Charles Everett ousted in MSCS school board election, McKissack, Coleman keep seats

By , Daily Memphian Published: August 05, 2022 1:02 AM CT

The Daily Memphian is making our election coverage free to all readers. Please consider supporting local journalism and this community by subscribing to this site or by donating to our organization. Thank you for your continued participation and support.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools District 6 incumbent Charles Everett was ousted by challenger Keith Williams, executive director of the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association, in Thursday’s school board elections.

Board chair and District 1 representative Michelle McKissack, along with District 9 representative Joyce Dorse-Coleman, managed to hold on to their seats.

MSCS celebrating new school year with fun run, festival and immunizations

Amber Huett-Garcia ran unopposed for the District 8 seat.

Here’s break down of the how the races went in each district:

District 1

District 1 was a bit of a throwback race with McKissack running against her predecessor, Christopher Caldwell.

McKissack beat Caldwell for the seat in 2018 when she was elected for the first time.

<strong>Michelle McKissack</strong>

Michelle McKissack

Rachel Spriggs, an independent consultant for the district, was also vying for the seat.

In the end, McKissack kept the spot with 48% of the vote and 4,270 votes total.

“This says the voters have confidence in me,” McKissack said. “I care so deeply about this district. That is what is so gratifying.”

Caldwell and Spriggs came behind McKissack with 26% of the vote each.

Caldwell grabbed 2,374 votes with Spriggs taking 2,319.

District 6

District 6 was the hottest race this season with a total of six candidates, including Everett.

This was Everett’s first election as he was appointed to the seat by the Shelby County Commission in March after his predecessor, Shante Avant, stepped down to pursue a run for a seat on the Commission.

Joris Ray supervised second employee named as alleged affair

Outside of Williams, Tiffany Perry, the former public information officer for the district; Tim Green Jr., a local education activist and former educator; Kenny Lee, vice president of the Ride of Tears, an organization that honors children lost to gun violence and David Page, president of the Westwood Neighborhood Association and former educator, ran against Everett for the seat.

Williams, despite the steep competition, rose above all, ousting Everett with 42% of the vote and 4,533 votes total.

Williams could not be reached for comment.

In order, Perry, Everett, Green and Lee came behind Williams with Page falling last.

Here is a breakdown of how the votes were split between the unsuccessful candidates:

  • Perry: 2,367, 22% 
  • Everett: 1,697, 16% 
  • Green: 1,253, 12% 
  • Lee: 535 votes, 5% 
  • Page: 404, 4% 

District 8

District 8 featured only one candidate, Huett-Garcia, who will now join the board with the rest of the winners.

<strong>Amber Huett-Garcia</strong>

Amber Huett-Garcia

She got 8,565 votes, or 99%.

She is taking over for long-time board member Billy Orgel, who announced in April that he was stepping down.

District 9

District 9 was a head-to-head matchup that pitted Dorse-Coleman against challenger Rebecca Edwards, founder of CAFÉ, the Memphis-based performing arts organization.

This was Coleman’s second election as she was elected for the first time in 2018 along with McKissack.

Dorse-Coleman came out on top with 4,409 votes, or 60%.

Edwards got 2,832 votes, 39%.

Dorse-Coleman could not be reached for comment.

Now that the hard part is over, new members will soon participate in a swearing-in ceremony to officially become part of the board.

MSCS said in a statement there is no date set yet but that historically, the ceremony has been held shortly after the August board meeting.

The board’s next meeting will be a work session Aug. 23. It will hold its monthly business meeting the following week on Aug. 30.

Visit here for more information.


MSCS Memphis-Shelby County Schools Charles Everett Keith Williams Michelle McKissack Joyce Dorse-Coleman
Aarron Fleming

Aarron Fleming

Aarron Fleming is an education reporter with The Daily Memphian. He earned his B.A. in journalism from the University of Memphis.


Want to comment on our stories? Or read the comments of others? Join the conversation by subscribing now. Only subscribers can view or add comments. Our commenting policy can be viewed here