Former Metropolitan Nashville board member winner of Lifetime Achievement Award

Cheryl D. Mayes, former Metropolitan Nashville School Board member and devoted advocate for public education, was awarded the 2016 Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony on Sept. 30, during CUBE’s 49th Annual Conference in Miami, Florida.

“In addition to her contributions to the Nashville Board of Education, Cheryl Mayes has demonstrated her commitment to her community and the public schoolchildren it serves,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association. “On behalf of NSBA I offer my congratulations and thank Cheryl for her dedicated service and continued involvement representing the educational needs of Nashville’s schoolchildren.”

Mayes was nominated for the award by Sharon Gentry, Chair of the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education. Mayes began her service on the Board of Education for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in 2010, and during her tenure held the positions of Chairperson of the Board and Chair of the Executive Committee. She also served as Vice-Chair of Budget and Finance, and Co-Chair of the Youth Safety Summit, Insurance Trust, and Non-Discrimination Procurement Committees. Active in her community, her outreach efforts include volunteer and fund raising work with the American Cancer Society, the YWCA of Middle Tennessee, Boy Scouts of America in Middle Tennessee, Hands on Nashville, and serving as Vice-President of the Multi-Cultural Business Synergy Team at Nissan North America.

Prior to the Board of Education, Mayes was an active PTA/PTO member, the Chair of the Antioch Cluster Parent Advisory Group, representative on the Director’s Parent Advisory Council for Metro Schools, and was also appointed to serve as a member of the Student Advisory Task Force for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

“Cheryl has worked hard to make a difference,” said Verjeana Jacobs, chair of the CUBE Steering Committee and school board member in Prince George’s, Maryland. “I’m proud and grateful for her dedication and commitment to helping ensure that all students in Nashville have access to a quality public education and the supports they need for future success.”

Tammy Grissom, Executive Director of the Tennessee School Boards Association in recommending Mayes noted, “Cheryl was an outstanding member of the Metro/Davidson County School Board and at-large member of our 2013 TSBA Board of Directors.” “She was and still is a tireless advocate for public education.”

The Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by CUBE to an individual who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to representing the educational needs of urban schoolchildren through their service as a local school board member. The award is exclusively sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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