February 17, 2018 9:57:03 PM
After almost a year on the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees, Melissa Luckett is stepping away.
Luckett resigned from the board, effective this week. Starkville aldermen appointed Luckett to a five-year term on the board on Feb. 21, 2017, after Mayor Parker Wiseman cast a tie-breaking vote t in her favor.
Her term officially began on March 5, and she replaced former board member Jenny Turner after Turner opted not to apply for re-appointment.
Luckett is a project coordinator for Mississippi State University's Research and Curriculum unit. The mother of two children in the school district, Luckett has volunteered for about 10 years with local public schools prior to her appointment on the board, including stints as co-president for the Parent-Teacher Organization at Sudduth Elementary and PTO president at Armstrong Middle School.
On Friday, Luckett confirmed her resignation to The Dispatch, saying she has to step down because she's moving out of the city and into the county.
"My family is in the process of moving outside the Starkville corporate limits, which makes me ineligible for continuing to serve in my city appointed seat," Luckett said. "It was a difficult decision for me to step away from the board and one that I did not take lightly. But, in light of everything, it was the best decision for everyone involved.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have served as a board member and I look forward to supporting the school district in other ways," she added.
Aldermen will vote to begin advertising for applicants to fill Luckett's spot at Tuesday's board meeting. At a Friday work session, aldermen discussed accepting applications until March 28. The board will then select a new school board member at one of its April meetings.
SOCSD Board of Trustees President Keith Coble said he was grateful that Luckett chose to serve on the board.
"We know Melissa had a long history of involvement with the district and appreciate it," Coble said. "When people are willing to step into the role of school board member, it's a big responsibility, and I appreciate her being willing to do it like she did. She always had the best interests of the school district at heart."
Coble also said the first year of service on a school board can be overwhelming for some, but Luckett was always engaged with thoughtful, reflective contributions.
"It was very much the case of somebody who was completely engaged," Coble said. "Melissa had children in the district. She was passionate for education. So when she came to the meeting, you knew her intent was to do the right things."
Coble is also coming to the end of his time on the board, as the two-term member will not seek another when his seat comes up for election in November.
Before consolidation, Coble's seat, which was filled via elections, represented the portions of the former Starkville School District that extended beyond city limits. Coble's seat is now one of two elected seats -- along with that of John Brown -- that represents the county outside Starkville city limits.
Coble said whoever is elected to follow him will begin serving in January 2019.
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