Incumbent, daughter of ex-state rep win school seats

The Detroit News

The Detroit Public Schools Community district is on the road to self-governance after selecting seven board members for the new district Tuesday.

The top seven vote-getters out of 63 candidates include one incumbent, former president LaMar Lemmons.

The other unofficial winners are Angelique Peterson-Mayberry; Lemmons’ wife, Georgia Lemmons; Iris Taylor; Misha Stallworth; Sonya Mays; and Deborah Hunter-Harvill.

The board will take office in January 2017, at which time the district’s emergency manager Steven Rhodes will step down.

Peterson-Mayberry, the top vote-getter, has two children in the district, a 14-year old daughter who is a freshman at Cass Technical High School, and a 17-year-old son who is a senior at Communication and Media Arts High School.

She said she was humbled to be one of the winners.

“Being selected at all is an honor, but to be the top vote getter is surreal,” said Peterson-Mayberry, director of community relations for UAW-Ford. “I am up for the challenge and appreciate those who thought enough of me to put me in this position.”

She said one of the first orders of business will be to select a superintendent. The board also will be responsible for academics, but a Financial Review Commission will continue to have oversight over finances.

“I also want to make sure students learn in a safe environment and that teachers are adequately paid,” she said. “We want for our kids what other districts want for their kids.”

The youngest winner, Misha Stallworth, 27, turns 28 Nov. 14 and comes from a family with deep political roots.

She is the daughter of former state Rep. Thomas Stallworth III, who also has served on the Detroit school board. Her uncle, Keith Stallworth, and grandmother, Alma Stallworth, are also former Michigan state legislators.

Misha Stallworth is the advocacy and planning coordinator for the Detroit Area Agency on Aging. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in psychology and received her master’s in social work from the Univeristy of Michigan.

“My hopes and dreams are to improve public education for students, but also for schools to become community hubs to be inclusive and accessible for all students and their families.”

She said this means ensuring parents will not need to leave the district to find quality education.

Deborah Hunter-Harvill said she is a former teacher, principal and superintendent who now is retired and working as an education consultant.

“I’m proud to have this opportunity to serve on the school board so we can work collaboratively to rebuild a stellar school district,” she said. “I am a DPS graduate, my daughter graduated from Mumford High School and I am here for the long haul.”

LaMar Lemmons told The Detroit News early Wednesday morning that if the results held up “this would be the first time a husband and wife served on a Detroit schools board at the same time.”

Two of the other winners did not return phone calls, and one’s voicemail was not set up.

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