Council picks Verdell for school board

February 20, 2013 10:05:48 AM

Jeff Clark - [email protected]


Angela Verdell was appointed by unanimous vote to a five-year term to the Columbus Municipal School District Board of Trustees during Tuesday's Columbus City Council meeting.  


Verdell, 41, will replace Tommy Prude, whose term expires March 2. Prude, the current board president, was seeking re-appointment to the board. He was one of four candidates for the position. 


The motion to appoint Verdell was made by Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor and seconded by Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem. 


Verdell, director of diversity programs and student development at Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering, said she wanted to serve because she has two children attending schools in the CMSD. 


"As an actively engaged parent of children in this district for over six years, I've had the great fortune to experience every level of education provided by the district and to serve in multiple capacities ranging from PTA leadership to Site Council participation," Verdell said in her candidate profile published in Sunday's edition of The Dispatch. "With a sound parent perspective and a professional background in finance and engineering, my desire is to assist the district in pragmatic financial decision making and provide insight on streamlining processes which will result in greater efficiency and effectiveness within the CMSD." 


Karriem said Verdell's active participation within the district was a selling point for his supporting her nomination. 


"Mrs. Verdell has children in the district and she's very active in the district," Karriem said. "I think she will be an excellent board member. I think she will be willing to work with current board members to help make it more progressive." 


Before the motion was made on the appointment, Karriem thanked his constituents for the large volume of phone calls he received over the weekend regarding Tuesday's appointment. 


"This was the most calls I've ever received about an issue," Karriem said. "I wish more people would get involved with the process." 


In addition to Verdell and Prude, local banker Antwann Richardson and Rev. James Samuel applied for the appointment. Former educator Pamela Whitney withdrew her application over the weekend due to a family illness. 


"We had four good applicants," Mayor Robert Smith said. "We want to thank Mr. Prude for the time he has served." 


Verdell will be sworn in March 11 at the regularly scheduled meeting of the school board. A new board president will be selected at that meeting. 


Verdell will receive a monthly stipend of $200 as a board member. 


Dewitt Hicks was also re-appointed to the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau board for a three-year term. Hicks, who is currently the board's chairman, will represent the historic home owners on the board. He was the only applicant for the position.