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Millington School Board election will have only one contested race

By Bill ShortMillington Schools logo

With four candidates seeking a four-year term in three positions on the Millington School Board, the Nov. 4 election will feature only one contested race.
Board member Cody Childress is competing with Emile G. Sigee for Position 4, while members Cecilia “C. J.” Haley and Larry Jackson are unopposed in Positions 2 and 6, respectively.
The candidates filed their qualifying petitions before the deadline at noon last Thursday in the Shelby County Election Commission Office.
Haley and Childress were each elected on Nov. 7, 2013 to an initial one-year term on the board. Jackson was appointed on July 14 by the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen to fill the position left vacant by Jennifer Carroll’s resignation.
Carroll was elected last year to an initial one-year term in Position 6. She resigned on June 19 to apply for a teacher position in the municipal school district and was hired at E. A. Harrold Elementary School.
A native of Mississippi, Haley has lived in Tennessee most of her life, including Memphis and Bartlett. She has been a resident of Millington since she and her husband got married in 1999. Their 11-year-old son is enrolled this year in Millington Middle School.
A 1966 graduate of Millington Central High School, Jackson served as an alderman from 1984-88. He has also been a member of the Millington Industrial Development Board and the Millington Sports Authority, as well as the Board of Directors of the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce.
Since 2001, he has been president of the Patriot Bank in Millington.
A native of Memphis, Childress graduated from Frayser High School in 1974. After getting married at age 21, he moved with his wife to the Raleigh area of north Memphis.
Fourteen years later, they moved to the Lucy area. They have two sons and two grandchildren.
Since 1987, Childress has been the owner of Splash Plumbing in Lucy. Two years ago, he retired from the Memphis Fire Department after more than 28 years.
His wife was employed by the Shelby County School System for 17 years as a medical records clerk at Millington Elementary School. She was recently hired for the same position in the municipal school system.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Sigee is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He lived in military housing in Millington before purchasing a house in the city when he retired after 24 years.
On May 23, he retired as an Army Junior ROTC instructor in the Shelby County School System after five years at Hamilton High School and eight at Melrose High.
His wife Debra was a candidate for mayor in the 2012 Millington city election.
They have four children who are all “college-educated home owners and taxpayers.” The three youngest graduated from Millington Central High School, and two of the four still live in the city.
During telephone interviews last weekend, Childress and Sigee each discussed what inspired them to seek a four-year term on the school board.
Because he is a retired educator, Sigee considers himself “a good fit” for the board.
“I’m not saying I know everything,” he acknowledged. “But I’m connected, and I have something to offer. I’m capable, and I can commit myself to this full-time instead of part-time.”
While acknowledging that the board’s work is “just beginning,” Childress said its members must still “guide this process” during the upcoming years. He wants to make sure that the board “runs smoothly.”
“For the most part, we do run pretty smoothly,” he noted. “We have a few hiccups, like everybody else. But we still need sound voices to help steer this.”
Childress said he really does not mind being in Millington’s only contested school board race this year, because it will be more “exciting” for him.
“I’m going to have to make sure that I focus,” he said. “I don’t want to take anything for granted.”
Sigee said he does not see himself as “challenging” Childress for Position 4. Noting that he is not really into “debating with someone,” he said he is just going to put himself “out there.”
“I’m going to let the people know who I am and what I’m about,” he said. “I’m competing for a position, not against anything or anyone.”
The two men were asked what they believe are the major issues in the race for Position 4.
Childress said the board must really watch how its first year progresses. That includes student attendance and the money received from the state, which go “hand-in-hand.”
Because the school system is in its “infancy,” Sigee said there will be some “rough patches.” And he wants to be a part of helping get it “off the ground.”
“I don’t really have a dog in the fight,” he noted. “It’s just that I care about kids and their future. And without a good school board, the kids are lost.”

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August 2014
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