Jennifer Ortega

About Jennifer Ortega

Reporter and Fill-in Anchor on the weekends. Jennifer Ortega joins our team all the way from South Florida. She's worked for CBS 12 and Hola Tv in West Palm Beach. Although she's a long way from home, she's excited to be a part of the WCBI News Team.

Video: First African American Woman School Board Member In Winona

WINONA, Miss. (WCBI) – After much controversy among school board members in Winona regarding appointing a woman to the board, a decision has been made.

After careful thought and deliberation, for the first time in Winona’s history an African American women has been appointed to the School Board. Cheryl Small was one of two people recommended to fill the open seat.

“The Winona Public School System recommended two people to take the vacant position on the Winona Public School Board of Directors, School Board. I think it would give it more of a diverse role on the school board because Mrs. Small would be the first African American female on the board. So I think it’s good for Winona,” said Mayor Jerry Flowers.

One of the qualifications and traditions to be a Winona School Board Member is to have a child enrolled in the school system. And after the child graduates the school board member is also to retire.

“I’m actually very honored by the city board and the school board to even be considered for this position, it’s an honor to be able to serve my community and especially at my school where my daughter is a student there so I’ve always been active in the school department and school system so this is just an honor to be able to continue that,” said new member Cheryl Small.

Small is a registered nurse at the Stay Home health and Hospice and has worked there for 9 years now.

“I spend most of my time in the community helping others work related or very active in my church several ministries in my church that I’m active in. I think this opportunity will give me an opportunity to open so many more doors for me to be able to serve in whatever area that I’m needed,” said Small.

According to city attorney Ray Baum, the only requirement to serve on the board is to be a qualified elector.