The newest member of Nashville’s school board is a well-known local policy expert who says she can help navigate the district through government bureaucracy.
Freda Player-Peters most recently worked as the liaison between the mayor’s office and the Metro Council. Now she takes over the school board’s District 7, which is the city’s most diverse. The seat was vacated by former member Will Pinkston, setting in motion a Metro Charter amendment that moved the power to appoint a replacement into the hands of the Metro Council.
In her nomination letter, Player-Peters said she wants to address inequities in education and work with “urgency and selflessness” in what she sees as a crucial moment in Nashville history. She also touted her understanding of city and state policies and budgeting.
Council members described her as diligent and trustworthy, and she also got the nod for her demeanor.
“This last year we saw a lot of contentious behavior [on the school board] and one of the greatest things about Freda is she is able to stay objective and she is able to stay calm in heated moments,” Councilwoman Joy Styles said. “There is a lot of work that needs to be done on the school board, and we need someone who is able to manage personalities.”
Player-Peters has degrees from Fisk and George Washington universities. She has also worked for the Tennessee Democratic Party, the Metro employees’ union and local nonprofits.
She was chosen with 26 council member votes. The runner-up with 14 votes was Kevin Stacy, a licensed teacher who has worked as a schools administrator for Metro, Clarksville and Williamson County.