Metro Nashville School Board Chair Anna Shepherd dies

By: - June 9, 2020 8:55 am
Metro Nashville School Board Chair Anna Shepherd, right, and Jill Speering, left. (Photo: Metro Nashville Public Schools)

Metro Nashville School Board Chair Anna Shepherd, right, and Jill Speering, left. (Photo: Metro Nashville Public Schools)

A representative from Metro Nashville Public Schools has confirmed Nashville school board chairwoman Anna Jenesse Shepherd died Monday night. She was 68.

Shepherd represented eastern Davidson County on the school board. Shepherd had been ill and was in the hospital

She was elected to the board in 2010 and in the midst of her second stint as board chair. Shepherd presided over school board meetings, which were conducted remotely because of the pandemic, in recent weeks.

Anna Jenesse Shepherd (Photo: Metro Nashville Public Schools)
Anna Jenesse Shepherd (Photo: Metro Nashville Public Schools)

“It’s with a heavy heart I share with you that Anna Shepherd passed last night,” fellow board member Jill Speering said, adding that Shepherd had been ill and was in the hospital.

Shepherd served the role as a soft-spoken leader and often was the swing vote on controversial issues.

“Anna was an amazing leader,” School Board Vice Chair Amy Frogge said. “She carried the Board through some difficult transitions and made sure we got our focus back on what matters most: the students. With her heart, her humor, and her commitment to our schools and families, Anna leaves an indelible legacy. She made Nashville a better place.”

An ardent advocate for children, she played a pivotal role in the board unanimously choosing the last two directors, most recently hiring Adrienne Battle to the post last year.

“We were so fortunate to have the warmth and leadership of Anna in our lives and on the Board of Education,” Battle said. “She was a passionate champion of public schools, especially McGavock High School, where she had previously served as President of the Band Boosters. Tough and challenging when necessary, Anna always pushed myself and other district staff to be the best and do the best we could to improve the lives of the students we serve and the quality of education we provide. My prayers are with her husband Larry, her family, and her friends in the community who loved her so dearly.”

This is a developing story.

 

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Nate Rau
Nate Rau

Nate Rau has a granular knowledge of Nashville’s government and power brokers, having spent more than a decade with the Tennessean, navigating the ins and outs of government deals as an investigative reporter. During his career at The Tennessean and The City Paper, he covered the music industry and Metro government and won praise for hard-hitting series on concussions in youth sports and deaths at a Tennessee drug rehabilitation center. In a state of Titans and Vols fans, Nate is an unabashed Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs fan.

MORE FROM AUTHOR