Fayette County Public Schools board member Jim Larkin represents District Two and is currently serving in his first term. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the School Board. He and his wife Linda volunteer and support many organizations throughout Fayette County in hopes that by doing so they can provide others with a better opportunity to improve their way of life and be of service to others. Some of the many organizations Mr. Larkin has volunteered with include Leadership Fayette, Fayette Cares, Fayette County Education Foundation, the Oakland and Fayette Chambers of Commerce, the Town of Oakland Parks and Recreation, West TN Veterans Home project and the Carl Perkins Center just to name a few. He is also a Veteran having served in the United States Air Force from 1969 to 1973. In 2019 Mr. and Mrs. Larkin were honored to serve as Grand Marshals of the Oakland Christmas parade. As Grand Marshals they dedicated the 2019 Christmas parade to all Law Enforcement and First Responders who protect and serve our community.
After gaining much knowledge from volunteering throughout Fayette County for many years, Mr. Larkin decided to run for the school board so he could use that knowledge to make a far reaching and positive impact for the community. “My desire was to be part of an organization that could make a difference for the children who attend the Fayette County Public School system. My thought was that if elected, I could help make sure everything we as a board did was for the betterment of the children while helping administrators and teachers create a safe, clean and professional learning environment.”
Heather Doyle is in her first year of service on the school board and represents District One and is our TLN Representative for the District. She is married and has two children, Everett and Sadie, who attend Fayette County Public Schools. Prior to becoming a board member, Mrs. Doyle stayed highly involved in the school system from the time her children entered kindergarten. She was actively involved in the PTO at Buckley-Carpenter Elementary serving as president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. She has also served as the vice president of Fayette-Ware’s PTO. “I believe parent involvement is the key to success when it comes to a student’s education,” states Mrs. Doyle. Her goal as a board member is to increase the CCTE program. Her belief is that every child has a niche that may not be college but career-oriented and that all children should have every opportunity to explore the areas in which they would like to learn.
Fayette County Public Schools board member Wanda Keath represents District Three and is currently serving in her first term. Her mission is to serve with integrity by listening and gaining a greater understanding of what is best for all children and families. She believes that education is the pathway to building greater and stronger communities. Ms. Keath is a life-long resident of Fayette County and actively involved in multiple Fayette County community organizations. Ms. Keath is outgoing, adventurous and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
She holds an Associate of Science in General Studies from Shelby State Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from LeMoyne-Owen College and a Master of Social Work from Union University. Ms. Keath is employed at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital as the Trauma Department Social Worker. She takes a holistic approach in looking at the psychological, social, and educational needs of children and their families. Ms. Keath believes that everyone has the right to an appropriate and adequate education. She also feels that the complexities within children, families, and communities can be challenging but must be taken into consideration when making decisions about education. Ms. Keath has a wealth of knowledge dealing with policies, processes, and procedures and how they influence the lives of children and their families.
Ms. Keath holds multiple credentials and certifications which include Licensed Master Social Worker, Licensed School Social Worker K-12 and Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She is a presently a member of multiple organizations including: Family Support Program State Council Member, Family Support Program Regional Council Member, Family Support Program Local Council Member Chair, the Fayette County Schools Alumni Association, the NAACP, Phi Alpha Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Leadership Fayette. Ms. Keath was previously a member of and played pivotal roles in several community organizations including: Shelby County Schools TPN Grant Assistant Coordinator, TN Emergency Medical Services, West TN Regional Abuse and Neglect Prevention Committee, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Planning and Policy Council West TN Regional Death Review Committee.
She seeks to use creative and innovative thinking methods to influence the education of our students. Ms. Keath feels that ALL children have the ability to learn, but how that learning takes place can be different for every child. She is a fierce advocate for innovative programs that maximize each child’s potential to create an avenue that promotes higher learning. Ms. Keath also believes that a safe and caring educational environment is essential to fostering a child’s overall outcome.
School Board Member Melanie McGuire represents District 3. Mrs McGuire has dedicated over 15 years of service to Fayette County and the Public School System in many capacities. She was the past President of the Fayette County Education Association, a former candidate of the SCORE TN Educator Fellowship program, a current Leadership Fayette participant, an active member of the TN Education Association, and sits on the Board for the Dewitt Community Center. Her work and training in the fields of education, mental health, and school counseling have developed her holistic perspective on the many factors that impact student success.
In her role as a school board member she has had many conversations with parents, teachers, and other community members, which has presented her with a wide range of topics. Mrs. McGuire wants to ensure students, families, and educators are included in decision making processes. She stated “All members of the educational community should work together to build lasting solutions, be held accountable, and work toward equity, inclusion, and excellence for all populations in our schools.”
Being an advocate for all students, Mrs. McGuire is dedicated to seeing Fayette County Public Schools as a place where all students thrive, all staff feel supported, and parents engage as partners in their child’s education.
School Board member Warner Speakman
represents District 3 and highly values the education, health, and safety of each and every student in Fayette County. Mr. Speakman has been affiliated with Fayette County Public Schools since 2011. He was selected by the School Board in 2011 to be an FCPS Representative during the building of Buckley-Carpenter Elementary School and continued to manage some projects and do consulting for several years after the completion of BCES. He has a wide range of work experience: TN General Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Arkansas Master Electrician, Security Licensure, and he has been a managing partner in a design and consulting firm for the past 30 years. Mr. Speakman was educated in Alabama schools, is a military veteran and has been married for 53 years. He served as an apprentice in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #58 in Detroit Michigan and graduated as a Journeyman. He continued his night school education in Southfield, Michigan at a technical college and graduated with an Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree. Mr. Speakman then moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where he worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in their Engineering Design group and specialized in electronics and communications.
Mr. Speakman has an especially keen interest in our Fayette-Ware Comprehensive High School CTE program and is looking to expand the offerings it now has. He hopes to serve FCPS as a positive factor in the technical, financial, and academic offerings of our school system. His goal is to lay a solid foundation in order to open doors for our students both while they are in school and after graduation.
James Vlasaty is in his first year of serving District Two as a school board member. He has lived in Oakland for the past twenty years. Mr. Vlasaty graduated top of his class from the NCO Academy, Staff NCO academy and the Senior Staff NCO academies, Logistics Management school, Contracting Officer School, Budget and Finance School. He retired after 21 years of honorable service from the United States Marine Corps as a Master Sergeant. While serving in the USMC, he was a Marine Security Guard at the American Embassy Prague CSSR, American Consulate Alexandria Egypt and American Embassy Ankara Turkey, a Customs Officer for MCB Okinawa, Japan, and his last duty station was the Military District of Washington, D.C. After retirement, Mr. Vlasaty went to work for the Homeland Security Department in Memphis as a Program Analyst where he implemented and managed budgets, procurement, fleet, information technology, asset procurement and control, HAZMAT, EPA, OSHA, and Environmental Recycling and Sustainable programs. He then retired after fourteen years in that position.
Mr. Vlasaty has thirty-five years of experience in the federal government consisting of time spent in multiple departments and various aspects within each department. His roles included: Marine Security Guard and Detachment Commander for President Ronald Reagan in Madrid, Spain; Finance Officer, managing and accounting for $362,000,000.00 annual Budgets, Procurement Contract development, negotiations to Contract Implementation; Contracting Officer monitoring 4,320 active contracts daily. His assignments included: audits with zero discrepancies on budgets and spending; reduction in fraud, waste, and abuse of $6.3 million in one year for which he was awarded the Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Program Analyst where he oversaw and implemented EPA Regulations into daily operations; OSHA Representative where he as a Hazmat Officer managed and accounted for a $142,000,000.00 annual budget, $65,000,000.00 asset control and management program, fleet management, procurement card program, and worked with industries to develop biobased plastics to incorporate into the organizations’ daily functions and reduce waste by 90% through donation and recycling programs (receiving the “gold” standard award for 7 consecutive years).