MDE announces parent of the year

Leslie Fye, a mother of two children in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, was named the 2019 Mississippi Parent of the Year. Fye was nominated by the school district as a fierce champion for every student, teacher, and family in the Starkville Oktibbeha School District.

“I love Mississippi,” said Fye. “It is my personal mission to impact my sweet state in a way that will lift us out of the legacy of the last in everything. I believe the most powerful way to do that is to improve public education for ALL children, from the most gifted to the most vulnerable.”

Fye is also instrumental in annual fundraising activities for Starkville High School. In the past year, she’s served as the PTO class representative for Starkville High School and Armstrong Middle School, and she is currently the president of the Starkville Foundation for Public Education – an organization that raises money to fund grants for teachers to support innovative learning projects and experiences for the district’s students. This year, the foundation raised over $10,000.

Fye has been named Parent of the Year at Starkville High School two years in a row and most recently Parent of the Year for the district. She is known for her great service in the school district and in the community. In 2016 she helped form the Mississippi Public Education Pac because she believes the best way to change the culture, funding problems and policy in public education is to change the level of support and understanding of our state legislators.

As part of the annual Parent of the Year program, the Mississippi Department of Education asks each district to select an outstanding parent who has made a significant impact on school improvement efforts in the school district.

The committee reviewed several applications submitted by school districts. As a result, the committee selects a Parent of the Year from each of the four congressional districts. From those four district winners, the 2019 State Parent of the Year is determined. The Congressional District 1 finalist was Kimberly Jeffares of Tupelo. The Congressional District 2 finalist was Carrie Handley Miley of Clinton. Congressional District 4 finalist was Terri Lichlyter of Petal.