- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - A longtime DeSoto County school board member has said his farewells following his decision not to seek re-election after 22 years.

The Commercial Appeal (https://memne.ws/2h8GYF6 ) reports that Steve Dodd said goodbye to fellow board members and school district leaders Wednesday during the board’s final meeting of the year.

Michele Henley will take over Dodd’s District 2 seat on the five-member board in January.

A retired FedEx employee, the white-bearded Dodd is perhaps best known throughout DeSoto County as Santa Steve, a professional Santa Claus.

Supervisor Mark Gardner says Dodd “earned a reputation as an advocate for children.”

Dodd has been a part of the district’s growth into the largest public school district in Mississippi. It was one of nine districts to earn an A ranking under Mississippi’s new accountability standards.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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