It Starts with a Square

Mayor Harris Focuses On Shelby County Schools

BY Regan Hewitt

In his second State of the County address at Collierville High School on February 21st, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris started off by continuing his support of education. He proposed a new high school for Frayser. 

The new Shelby County School system, which was established in 2013, has not yet built a new high school. A new high school would cost at least $50 million, but Mayor Harris stated that now was the time to invest in these communities. He also cited the Reimagine 901 plan, which looks at all of Shelby County Schools’ facilities and maintenance, and should be ready for evaluation in a few weeks. 

“I believe we need to start building and investing in communities. I believe we need a starting point — a roadmap, if you will, to create a world-class learning environment for as many students as possible. And I believe Frayser is as good a place as any to plant a flag and make a start,” Harris said. He also used Collierville High School as a great example of what schools should look like and how they should operate. 

Other parts of the speech focused on six-week paid parental leave for new parents and fighting crime through investments in job training, as well as eliminating asking about criminal records for county job applications. Harris also mentioned continuing to grow veteran services and establishing free clinics for county residents. 

Harris also wants to invest in the environment, urging the Shelby County Commission to consider purchasing low or zero emission vehicles. The county will also continue to protect the aquifer and ensure that schools have access to lead-free water. 

During the event, educators Christine Johnson, the retired principal of Alcy Elementary School and Karla Willingham Templeton, a math teacher at Houston Middle School, were named 2020 Shining Stars. 

Source: The Daily Memphian, The Commercial Appeal

May/June 2020 Tour Collierville Magazine