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Millington native’s road to redemption leads her onto the ballot for SCS school board

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Stephanie Love childhood 2 Stephanie Love childhood Stephanie Love shot 2

Known in her hometown as Patty, the next title Millington native Stephanie Love wants to be known as is Shelby County School Board member for District 3.
Early voting began July 18 and will conclude Aug. 2. Love name is on the ballot against Anthony Lockhart and Teddy King to be the next representative for the district which includes communities like Northaven, Woodstock, Lucy, Raleigh and Frayser.
“I decided to run because I know the challenges the children and parents face,” Love said. “I don’t believe our children are getting the education they deserve. I don’t believe our parents don’t have someone who would speak up for them, who will advocate for them. I believe a school board member, her main job is to advocate for the parents and make sure the children receive a quality education.”
As the mother of four school-aged children T’Andre, Ke’ante, Romescia and Da’zyza, Love said she wants a more direct impact on the education system for Shelby County.
“This past year I had four children in three different schools,” she noted. “I was very active in all three school. I was a part of the PTSA for Frayser High School. I was secretary for the PTSA at Delano Optional School were two of my children attended.”
Love was a former chair of Shelby County Head Start Policy Council and is an active member of the Frayser Neighborhood Council.
Before taking on community and educational issues, Love was a young girl growing up in Millington’s Westside Trailer. Her humble start in life continued with a move to “The Projects” near her childhood school E.A. Harrold.
After attending Harrold, Love’s next step was Millington Middle School. Then it was time for a brief stop at Millington Central High School.
“I am a high school dropout,” Love acknowledged. “I went to receive my GED when my (older) son started Pre-K. He would come home and show me his work. He was just proud of the little things he did.
“I started thinking with the little education I have, how could I help him with his homework from elementary school to middle school to high school,” she continued. “That was one of the reasons why I went back and got my GED.”
Inspired to continue her education, Love attending The University of Memphis and earned her cosmetology license from Tennessee Academy of Cosmetology in Memphis.
Love had to overcome obstacles and demons on her road to becoming a professional mother. Love said the community she came from and now lives in are plagued by similar issues that effect education like crime, child abuse, domestic violence, high dropout rates, poverty and children in foster care.
“We have a lot of issues,” she said. “I do believe the parents care. It’s just some of them just don’t know how to ask for help. They don’t know that help is available. I am a parent so I want to speak for the parents.
“I want to help the parents,” Love added. “I want to motivate the parents. I want all parents to know that a quality education is the top priority for all children throughout Shelby County, not just District 3.”
Love said education starts in the home and stronger parents will make for more productive children.
“Poverty, crime, I can relate to that,” she said. “I can also relate to the fact that if parents have to figure out where the next meal is coming from, how they’re going to pay the rent or how the light bill is going to get paid, education is not a top priority.
“If we can help the parents, then we can help the child,” Love added. “You can’t get to my child unless you to get through to me. I have to want my child to succeed. I want to help parents eliminate all barriers to success.”
Love has climbed her way to a better life with education. The lesson she’s teaching her children, Love wants to share with the rest of the area.
“I’m not running a race,” she said. “ I’m running for a cause. It’s important because I believe all board members have to be able to work together. Education is a top priority, if we want all children in the Shelby County area to succeed, we must be adults. We must be compassion and sensitive to the needs of all children and all parents. We must be able to work together to make sure all children succeed.
“I believe all children deserve a quality education whether it be Shelby County Schools, ASD (Achievement School District) schools, private schools, children in Millington, Collierville, Cordova, Bartlett or Germantown,” Love concluded. “At the end of the day, we have to interact with another school system. We walk into a store, you don’t know who’s child is standing in front of you. We have to make sure all children succeed no matter what school district they are from.”

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