A long-serving member of the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees will soon step down.

Brand mug

Lee Brand

At the school board meeting Tuesday night, it was announced that school board member Lee Brand would step down from the board for a job opportunity out of state. Brand has served on the board for nine years, and will officially step down following the board’s regular meeting in July.

Brand is currently the longest- serving member of the board, and was involved in discussions regarding both consolidation and the conception of the Partnership School.

Brand’s seat is one of three on the board filled by candidates selected by the Starkville Board of Aldermen.

A native of the Tupelo area, Brand has lived in Starkville for approximately 20 years. He has served as the pastor of Beth-El Missionary Baptist Church for the past 17 years. Brand was not present at the meeting Tuesday, and Superintendent Eddie Peasant announced his departure.

Brand will serve as dean and academic vice president at the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, Tennessee. The seminary provides graduate education to students for ministry and other areas, and also offers various undergraduate degrees.

School Board President John S. Brown served on the board alongside Brand from his election in 2016. He said he regarded Brand as a mentor and good friend.

In other district business, the board approved the purchase of 10 buses for the district’s transportation department as approved by the Mississippi Department of Education. Funds for five of the buses will be included in the district’s 2019-2020 budget, while the other five will be purchased with a 16th Section loan. The purchase will be conducted after the 16th Section loan has been approved and goes into effect in July. The board also approved authorization for the 16th Section loan in the amount of $500,000 over three years. Both votes were 3-0, with Brand and secretary Sumner Davis absent.

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