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Coahoma Community College Board of Trustees Sees Big Changes

Rena Butler, for whom the off-campus health sciences building in Clarksdale was named, is making history on the board of trustees at Coahoma Community College once again. Having served on the board for more than 30 years, she will oversee the board as its first chairwoman/president.

Coahoma Community College Board of Trustees Sees Big Changes

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4157 - Melody Dixon

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Wed Jul 18, 2018

Rena ButlerRena Butler, for whom the off-campus health sciences building in Clarksdale was named, is making history on the board of trustees at Coahoma Community College once again. Having served on the board for more than 30 years, she will oversee the board as its first chairwoman/president.

“I was appointed to the board in 1985 and I have served for 33 years,” says Butler. “Dr. M. C. Martin was president and I was the first female to be appointed to the board. At this time, the board was all males.”

According to Butler, she is excited and honored to have this appointment and hope to do great things for CCC in the future.

“I am both proud and humbled to be chosen as president of the Coahoma Community College Board of Trustees,” says Butler. “It’s a great honor and I am most appreciative to my colleagues for trusting me with this position.”

With feminism becoming a trending topic, Butler takes on the new leadership role with accomplishments that compliment her new position.

Previously holding the position of assistant secretary for the board, Butler is an active member of the Zeta Psi Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., in which she was awarded Best Distinguished Reporter. She has served as director of Mississippi’s National Education Association and has gotten some practice at leading as vice president for the Mississippi Association of Educators. Butler has even begun using her entrepreneurial muscle, running her own food business Rena’s Curbside Meals. The Mississippi Association of Educators also gave her a Distinguished Service Award.

She received the Super Leader Award from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as well as the Community Citizenship Award from the Boy Scouts of America organization. Butler continues her involvement with education as a member of the Aspire Board for North Delta Mississippi. She is daughter to Ruth Perkins, the late Herman Perkins, Sr. and Eddie Brown. She is mother to one daughter and delights in caring for her dog Max.

Butler does not take her new role lightly and plans to ask God for guidance through continuous prayer. As chairwoman, she hopes to maintain high expectations for the faculty, staff, and students. Butler desires to work closely with the board to provide the college students the opportunities that will allow students to have the best educational experience. But there’s a more specific goal she has in mind.

“We have five counties. In the future, I would like to see the recruiting team involve the board member in each county,” Butler says.

CCC staffers, particularly CCC president Dr. Valmadge Towner, have great faith in Butler’s ability to lead the group. 

“We celebrate her election as chair of the board of trustees,” Towner said. “As a 30 plus year member of the board of trustees, we know that she will continue to provide exemplary support to the institution as she has done in the past.”

Butler, who claims Clarksdale as her hometown, is not the only one on a new level of serving at CCC. Fellow board colleague Attorney Cynthia Mitchell has been publicly recognized at the Annual Trustees Conference in Biloxi, MS for her decade-long service on CCC’s board.

Cynthia MitchellMs. Mitchell is admitted to practice before all state courts in Mississippi, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, the Western District of Tennessee, and the Fifth and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Mitchell is also active in the community and received the Mississippi State Bar’s Lawyer Citizenship Award in 2012. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Clarksdale Animal Rescue Effort and Shelter. She is an avid runner, having run eleven marathons, including Boston, and ultra-marathons, and is race director for several local 5k and 8k races.

Towner remarked, “We are excited for Attorney Mitchell as she has reached the 10-year milestone as a member of the board of trustees. We look forward, with positive anticipation, to work with her for years to come.”

Handing over the baton to Chairwoman Butler is former chairman and board retiree Donald Clark, who was also recently recognized at the conference for his service of 15 years as a trustee member.

Donald Clark“I told her if she will take control of the board on the first meeting, she will do well,” Clark said.

Clark earned his Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Mississippi Valley State University and received his master’s degree in educational leadership from Delta State University. He has been a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. for about 35 years.

“We are grateful to Mr. Clark for his exceptional service to the board of trustees the past 15 years,” Towner expressed. “We are certain that the institution can continue benefiting from the support of Mr. Clark in various capacities for years to come as he enjoys his retirement.”

Though Clark has ended his membership, a familiar face is embraced.

The board of trustees is pleased to add new member Bennie Brown of Jonestown. Brown says his membership is a way for him to help with enrollment.

“I can attract not only students but partners to the school as well,” Brown said.

Bennie BrownBrown is president of the Swan Lake Baptist Association and pastors St. James in Jonestown. He and late wife Bettie Daniel Brown have four children, two adult sons, and two adult daughters.

Dr. Towner shares much of the excitement Brown has about joining.

“Congratulations to Pastor Brown. He has been a reputable and caring member of the Tiger Family for many years,” Towner said. “We look forward to working with him and we are expecting outstanding service from him as well.”

God, family, and community are most important to Brown. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is a philosophy he lives by. He is the son of Ed and Rosie Brown.

The board of trustees is charged with setting the proper goals, objectives and program policies for the institution. The 14-member team of overseers ensures there are sensible budgets and fees established. In addition, the board is responsible for selecting the president of the institution. However, the president acts as its executive officer. A chairperson and vice chairperson also must be voted in; these persons must serve a two-year term. Their meetings, held every second Monday of the month, are open to the public. The superintendents of education in the surrounding counties of Bolivar, Quitman, Tallahatchie and Tunica County automatically become members, while six of the 14 are from the Coahoma County area. Additional members from each of the four neighboring counties complete the roster of trustees.