Leroy Matthews, Jr.
Quitman County

Vice President
Cecil Lizana
Pass Christian Municipal


Past President
Jan Vaughn
Greenville Municipal

District 1
Leslie King, Jr.
Marshall County
Shelia Riley
DeSoto County
Michael Thomas
Choctaw County

District 2
Jamelda Fulton
Western Line Consolidated
William Grissett
Madison County
Evelyn Murray
Leland Municipal

District 3
Danny Cowart
Simpson County
Kelvin Jackson
Lauderdale County
Erin Smith
Brookhaven Municipal

District 4
Amy Dobson
Jackson County
Delores McNair
Hattiesburg Municipal
Elaine Voss
Pearl River County

Presidential Appointees
Alice Dawkins-Hopson
Newton Municipal
Alvin Smith
Wayne County
Debra Sturgis-Stamps
Copiah County
Etta Taplin
North Pike Consolidated

Executive Director
Denotris R. Jackson, M.Ed

General Counsel
Jim Keith, Esq.
Adams and Reese, LLP
November 16, 2021

To: MSBA School Boards Members and Superintendents

From: Leroy Matthews, President
Mississippi School Boards Association

Denotris R. Jackson, Executive Director
Mississippi School Boards Association

After a lengthy discussion and careful consideration, the Mississippi School Boards Association (MSBA) Board of Directors voted on November 15, 2021, to terminate its membership with the National School Boards Association (NSBA). This decision will be effective at the end of the term for which MSBA has paid its NSBA dues, June 30, 2022. MSBA members will be able to utilize NSBA services, such as the annual conference and National Connection, through
June 30, 2022.

The decision to leave NSBA was not made lightly. The September 29 letter from NSBA to President Biden, with the inflammatory language and the request for federal agencies to intervene in our communities, was just one in a series of lapses in governance. MSBA can no
longer allow NSBA to speak for our association or our membership and can no longer see the value of continued membership.

MSBA will pursue collaboration with other state associations in the creation of a new national organization. The new organization will work exclusively with and through its member state school boards associations to support their missions and in a full partnership to ensure every student has access to an excellent and equitable public education and is governed by high performing school board leaders who are committed to working with students, families, and others in the communities they serve. To date, twelve states have officially withdrawn from NSBA. Another six state associations have not paid their dues for this year.

MSBA will work to ensure that any national organization in which we engage will provide services to its member state school boards associations which are requested by and tailored to each member state school boards associations’ unique needs. The association must provide national training and professional development through an annual conference for the school boards and staff leadership teams and will coordinate, facilitate, and implement a united, national movement in pursuit of excellence in public education through school board leadership. Because networking with school leaders from across the region and country is important to many members, opportunities to do so will be made available through events and other platforms.

We intend to continue to work closely with other state school boards associations and remain hopeful that following this period of substantial tumult for NSBA, we will find a new national organization ready and able to serve all its member states effectively. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us.

As always, MSBA appreciates your commitment to the students and communities you serve.


Leroy Matthews, Jr., President
Mississippi School Boards Association

Denotris R. Jackson, Executive Director
Mississippi School Boards Association
Denotris R. Jackson, M.Ed., Executive Director
380 Zurich Drive │ Ridgeland, MS 39157 │ 601-924-2001 │