The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) is pleased to announce that Steve Gallon III, of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Florida, was elected to serve as the council’s chair. Erika Mitchell of Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia, was elected Vice-Chair and Michelle McKissack of Shelby County Schools, Tennessee, was elected Secretary.

“The pandemic has widened access and opportunity gaps that have existed for decades,” said Anna Maria Chávez, NSBA Executive Director and CEO. “I’m grateful for the Council of Urban Boards of Education’s (CUBE) continued leadership and focus on these issues. Together, NSBA and CUBE will work to break down access barriers and close these pervasive gaps so that each child can succeed in school and life.”

Steve Gallon III
A former classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, administrator, and superintendent, Steve Gallon III serves as the Vice-Chair and elected member of the District 1 School Board, in Miami-Dade County Schools, Florida, the nation’s fourth largest school district. Gallon has received numerous awards for his professional and community service including CUBE’s 2017 Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award. In March 2017, Gallon was named as one of “South Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Black Leaders for 2017” by Miami’s Legacy Magazine. In 2018, Legacy named him “Educator of the Year.” He was also named Educator of the Year by the Miami-Dade County Branch of the NAACP in 2019. 

"I am deeply humbled and honored to have been unanimously elected by my peers as the new Chair of the CUBE Steering Committee, and am moved by their confidence and support,” said Gallon.” “Having spent over three decades in public education, I look forward to our collective and continued work of advocating for educational equity, enlightenment, and empowerment for under-voiced and underserved student populations across the nation. As we enter into new, uncharted waters of a post-COVID-19 educational reality, we must become even more deliberate, intentional, strategic, and unapologetic in our articulation and actions regarding addressing the increased needs and challenges of educating poor, Black, and Hispanic students in our nation's schools. My life's personal journey and professional work have prepared me for such a time as this."

Erika Mitchell
Since being elected to the Atlanta Board of Education, Erika Mitchell has established herself as one of Atlanta’s most influential public servants. Within Mitchell’s first year in office, she developed the first electronic newsletter for her district, and established community partnerships ranging from Georgia’s Own Credit Union to the NFL Players Association for her educational district. She has also co-written the first school district Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking policy and protocol in the state of Georgia in collaboration with Sharnell Myles. Mitchell is currently the Managing Partner at Sports Unlimited Enterprise, LLC. Sports Unlimited Enterprise, LLC (SUE) specializes in Event planning, Public Relations, Charities, Non-Profits and Branding for current and former professional athletes.

Michelle Robinson McKissack
McKissack is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, former editor of Memphis Parent magazine and has served on the Shelby County Board of Education since 2018. McKissack has worked to design the school of the 21st century with the XQ Project and served as a founding board member of Crosstown High School, which opened in August 2018. McKissack has also served in education at the state level being appointed to several advisory councils, including the inaugural Tennessee Board of Education Parent Advisory Council representing Shelby County Schools in 2016-2017.

We are also pleased to announce that as a result of the CUBE elections, the following individuals were elected or re-elected to the Steering Committee:

  • Micah Ali, Compton Unified School District (CA)
  • Jamie L. Devine, Richland One School Board (SC)
  • Courtney Graves, Ferguson Florissant School District (MO)
  • Yolonda Fountain Henderson, Jennings School District (MO)
  • Shavonna Holman, Omaha Public Schools (NE)
  • Yasmin Succar Wagner, Austin ISD (TX)

CUBE creates opportunities for urban school board leaders to gain the knowledge and skills needed to serve as effective local education policymakers and advocates for historically underserved students. The council supports excellence in urban school board leadership and is committed to providing all students equal opportunity to receive a high-quality education.

For more information about CUBE, or NSBA’s other equity councils, the National Black Council of School Board Members, the National American Indian and Alaska Native Council of School Board Members, and the National Hispanic Council of School Board Members, please visit our website: www.nsba.org/services.

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2020 State of the Association

Full of challenge and change, 2020 was like no other year. NSBA's State of the Association provides a snapshot of the association's advocacy and member services work as well as our ongoing transformation.