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MDE announces 2023 Parent of the Year


For Immediate Release:  March 29, 2023

Kimberly Nailor photo

Kimberly Walker Nailor, 2023 Mississippi Parent of the Year

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced today the 2023 Mississippi Parent of the Year is Kimberly Walker Nailor, a mother of two students in the Vicksburg-Warren School District.

Nailor was nominated by the school district and is described as a model parent who cares about her community and school district. Because of Nailor’s enthusiasm, passion and dedication to the community and school district, students have been able to have more enriching experiences at school. Nailor is employed as the city attorney of Vicksburg and always finds time to volunteer for the school district and the community. She has invested in finding solutions to make the Vicksburg-Warren County community a better place for the development of students.

Nailor’s rationale for being active in her children’s education is to maximize their academic and future success. She believes the positive deposits override the negative withdrawals that children face such as bullying, sickness, frustration with schoolwork and rejection. Being an engaging parent by managing extracurricular activities, homework assignments, parent meetings, school activities and volunteering in the classroom allows for consistent positive deposits in her children’s lives.

Nailor’s participation in various service-oriented activities and organizations has helped the community be a better place for student development. She assisted financially in sponsoring and serving meals for football players before games and practices. Due to lack of funding allotted to the athletic budget, there was no money for football players to have meals. In 2021, Nailor joined the Vicksburg High School Booster Club, and they raised tens of thousands of dollars to sustain the athletics program. In 2019, she volunteered weekly in a sixth-grade classroom to assist the teacher with encouraging students to perform well on the state test.  The class was successful in passing the benchmark state test. 

With a passion to mentor, Nailor spearheaded weekly sessions from 2015-2016 for approximately 30 teenage girls at Warren Central Junior High School to build self-esteem and encourage proper lifestyle choices. Other doors were opened for speaking engagements to classes about the law field. Through her dedication to the community and school district, she has served on the parent committee for Vicksburg High School (VHS), as chairperson for the Child and Parent Center, as advisory board member for both the West Central United Way and the Randy J. Naylor Memorial Foundation and provided book scholarships to seniors. She is currently the chairperson for the board of advisors of the Warren County Children’s Shelter and serves as Vicksburg High School Mock Trial Advisor. 

Research has repeatedly shown that parental involvement is a critical factor in determining the academic success of students. As part of the annual Parent of the Year program, MDE asks each school district to select an outstanding parent who has made a significant impact on school improvement efforts in the district.

The committee reviewed numerous applications and selected a Parent of the Year finalist from each of the four congressional districts. From those four district winners, the 2023 Parent of the Year was determined.

Other Parent of the Year finalists for 2023 are as follows:

  • Congressional District 1 finalist is Ashley Quimby, who was nominated by the Tupelo School District for being a compassionate servant with strong leadership skills, respectful and an advocate for students and teachers.  She has two children in the district.
  • Congressional District 3 finalist is Leigh Sargent, who was nominated by the Madison County School District for keeping the school and community connected by leading, supporting and being a morale booster for teachers and students. She has five children, including two in the district.
  • Congressional District 4 finalist is Crystal Wallace, who was nominated by the Columbia School District for volunteering countless hours to schools, serving students and teachers, and boosting staff morale. She has two children in the district.

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Media Contact:

Jean Cook, APR
Chief of Communication

Shanderia Minor
Public Information Officer