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Shelby Co.Unified School Board District 4 Candidates (Updated July 15, 2012)

July 15, 2012

The June 29, 2012 broadcast of  Friday Viewpoint with Eddie Settles (AM 640, Bott Radio Network) featured interviews with Shelby Co. Unified School Board (USB) candidates for Districts 3 and 4. Click here to hear that broadcast:

District 3, 4 Interviews June 29

District 4 candidates Kevin Woods and Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr. are both incumbents on the USB.  Dr. Whalum was elected to the MCS Board in 2006 as At-Large Commissioner for District 2.  Mr. Woods was elected to the interim USB in October 2011 as Commissioner for District 5.  They now vie for the permanent District 4 position for a four year term. (Yes, it’s confusing. That’s why we’re here to help you.)

District 4 runs roughly east of Getwell and south of Park, including Balmoral, Hickory Hill, and Ridgeway Estates.

District 4 Map

Dr. Kenneth Whalum,  55, a native Memphian, is a graduate of Melrose High School, Morehouse College in Atlanta and Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia.  He received his master of divinity degree from Memphis Theological Seminary. Since 1999, he has been the pastor of New Olivet Baptist Church since 1999. The Whalum family has many well known members, including his father, the late Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Sr., a pastor who served several terms on the Memphis City Council; brother Kirk Whalum, renowned saxophonist and recording artist; and his son Kenneth III, a rising jazz musician of note.

As At-Large Commissioner for District 2,  Dr. Whalum has served as the representative for the Memphis City Council and the Council of Urban School Boards. In 2009, he ran for Mayor of Memphis in a field of 25 candidates. He has been active in civic organizations including the Memphis Urban League Board of Directors and the Memphis Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. In 1998, he produced the City of Memphis’ official 30th anniversary observance of the life and death of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2010, he published his book, Hip Hop Is Not Our Enemy.

Dr. Whalum and his wife  Sheila are the parents of three sons, Kenneth III, Kortland and Kameron, all musically gifted and all graduates of Memphis City Schools.  For more information about Dr. Whalum, his platform and experience, click on the links below.

The Commercial Appeal’s Voter Guide published July 15, 2012 included this quote from Dr. Whalum:

“I intend to fight for the children, employees, and teachers who cannot fight for themselves, by making sure that the TPC’s merger plan truly does provide a plan which includes the HOWs and not just the WHATs.”

Dr. Whalum on Facebook

Dr Whalum on Twitter

Commercial Appeal July 14, 2012 (article)

Commercial Appeal July 13, 2012 (Candidate Profile)

Commercial Appeal June 26, 2012

Commercial Appeal March 22, 2012

2010 Candidate Profile – Commercial Appeal

USA Today Article – Corporal Punishment

District 4 Candidate Kevin Woods

Mr. Kevin Woods, 36,  is a native of Bolivar, TN. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering at University of Memphis as well as an MSBA from its Fogelman College of Business and Economics. In college he was an officer of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and a member of the President’s Student Ambassador Board. Mr. Woods has been employed by New Horizons Computer Learning Centers for 10 years, where is now  Director of Career Development. He was named to New Horizons’ Presidents Club, the company’s highest consultant honor, for the past two years.

Kevin Woods is a member of grassroots advocacy group Stand for Children, and has received the organization’s endorsement in the District 4 race. He supports Guthrie Elementary through his affiliation with the Memphis Alumni of Kappa Alpha Psi, and raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He was recently invited to participate in the Leadership Academy’s Fellows program.

Mr. Woods and his wife Dynisha have two young daughters, Lauren (8) and Lily (4), who attend St. Mary’s Episcopal School.

He is quoted in the Commercial Appeal’s Voter Guide as saying:

“This board needs a leader who has a proven work ethic and is committed to working with our stakeholders to gather more information, and ultimately make tough choices in the best interest of the children.”

Learn more about Mr. Woods’ campaign positions and background by clicking on the links below:

Campaign Website

Facebook Campaign Site

Kevin Woods on Twitter

 Coalition for a Better Memphis Candidate Profile
Coalition for a Better Memphis Questionnaire

Stand for Children Endorsement

Kevin Woods on LinkedIn

Commercial Appeal July 14, 2012 (Candidate Profile)

Commercial Appeal July 14, 2012 (article)

Commercial Appeal April 8, 2012

2010 Candidate Profile – Commercial Appeal

Do you live in District 4?  If you aren’t sure, click here and enter your street address. (That site, by the way, is a seriously useful and cool tool created through Launch Memphis. Bookmark it for future use.)

Kevin Woods and Dr. Kenneth Whalum both want to be your voice on the all-important public education issues facing Greater Memphis. You can only elect one. Review their positions and find out more about each of these candidates by clicking on the links above. Back in River City requested their thoughts on key issues through our Candidate Questionnaire. Follow  us  (be sure to register by email to receive new posts automatically) for their responses and additional voter information.

Now, what questions do you want to ask Mr. Woods and Dr. Whalum?  Post your comments here or email to

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