Wendell Wainwright serves as Chairman of the Fayette County School Board and has represented District 2 for the past eight years and is now on is ninth term. He holds the distinction of being one of seven school board members from across the state to be selected as a member of the All Tennessee School Board. He has also attained a Level V boardsmanship award through the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA), which is the highest level attainable. Chairman Wainwright was the first board member from Fayette County to attain either one of those achievements. He takes his duty as a board member seriously when it comes to public education and has stated, “As a school board member, I believe it is my responsibility to ensure that every child of Fayette County is entitled to free public education. Preparation, along with choices, is the key to education for our students now and in the future.”
School Board Vice Chairman, Civil Miller-Watkins, is in her third term of serving District 2. An advocate of virtual learning, Mrs. Miller-Watkins was able to provide valuable input around this topic as the Virtual Academy was being established. She has three sons, two grandsons, and a nephew who reside with her that are all receiving their education through the Fayette County Virtual Academy. Mrs. Miller-Watkins is active throughout the community and the schools and has been an instrumental part of the Community Pre-K Advisory Council, providing essential feedback to support the early learning program. States Miller-Watkins, “I am humbly serving as Vice Chair of the Fayette County Board of Education and dedicated to making our Fayette County Public Schools the first, best choice!”
Mrs. Sally Spencer has represented District 3 for eleven years and serves as the Board Legislative Representative for the school board. In this capacity, Mrs. Spencer works on education legislation that goes before the state legislature. She has invested time and effort to achieve Master School Board Level status, which is Level V boardsmanship. A longtime educator herself, Mrs. Spencer is passionate about literacy as well as the fundamentals of education. “I have learned much from my high school students during the years I had the honor of teaching,” states Mrs. Spencer. “There is surely no greater gift that a teacher can give to students than the desire and joy of learning. That’s when the magic really happens. School boards need to create opportunities where magic can happen.” Being driven to give back, she has made several presentations to students at the Jefferson Innovative Learning Center around soft skills. She also played an instrumental role in the renovation of the Central Administration Building, as well as JILC.
School board member Willie Odeneal represents District One and has served on the board for five years. He enjoys being visible in the schools during school tours and luncheons as well as attending large district events such as State of the Schools. A proponent of the community, Mr. Odeneal was instrumental in helping bring the community and churches into the schools with former superintendent Dr. Marlon King. He has a heart for not only the community but also every student. “I am a dedicated school board member. My main concern is educating all students and employing the best teachers to teach our kids. While doing this, I also want to save our taxpayers money,” states Mr. Odeneal.
Mr. Tom Fleps has represented District 3 for four years and is beginning his fifth year. Highly involved with the school district, Mr. Fleps has worked with the Transportation Department to integrate GPS tracking devices on the buses and implement Parent Portal to enable parents to track bus location. He was also involved in the HVAC installation in gymnasiums, especially at Fayette-Ware High School. Security enhancements, including the addition of resource officers, were also an area of focus for Mr. Fleps. In the future, he would like to see an emphasis on vocational training, improved security including replacing antiquated bus cameras with high-tech camera systems, and local review of educational materials. As Mr. Fleps states, “Local control of schools and curriculum is tantamount to preserving community standards.”
School board member Alisa Logan has served District Three since 2017. She is a wife and a mother to a two year old daughter. Although she was not raised in Fayette County, she is fully vested in the future of Fayette County’s children. “My role as a board member is to ensure that all children have the same access to education. I must make sound decisions when advocating for the children of this county,” says Logan. Mrs. Logan’s goal is for the district to maintain its Level 5 status while being innovative in building a system that meets all the needs of our children. She states that it is important to remain a good steward of financial resources while these goals are being met.
Heather Doyle is in her first year of service on the school board and represents District One. 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.
School board member Jim Larkin represents District Two and is currently serving his first year. He and his wife Linda volunteer and support many organizations throughout Fayette County in hopes that by so doing 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 over the past include Fayette Cares, Fayette County Education Foundation, the Oakland and Fayette Chambers of Commerce, the Town of Oakland Parks and Recreation, and the Carl Perkins Center to name just a few. After gaining so much knowledge from volunteering throughout Fayette County for so many years, Mr. Larkin decided to run for the school board so he could use his 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.”
Myles Wilson is in his first year of serving District One as a school board member. He has a rich educational history in Fayette County stemming back to 1951 when he enrolled in Wirt Elementary School in Oakland. He graduated from Fayette County Training School in 1963 and began his teaching career at William Penn Ware High School several years later. His educational career has included various positions including teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent of schools. While serving here in Fayette County, Mr. Wilson has held many leadership positions including president of the Fayette County Education Association and president-founder of the Fayette County chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Highly involved in the local community, Mr. Wilson served on the Fayette County Commission for 28 years, is a board member of the Bernard Community Center, and is involved with the Fayette County Citizens for Progress, E-911 Board, NAACP, and the Memphis Health Center (Rossville) Dewitt Center. Mr. Wilson has a vested interest in the community and the people of Fayette County. “I sincerely hope that all families in School Board District One and the entire Fayette County community continue to be blessed. I’m hoping that all of those who have had heavy burdens this year have their load lightened. I see the future of education for our people to be very bright.”