Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television (MAET) is responsible for the administration, operation, control and supervision of Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB).  The State Superintendent of Public Education, or designee, serves as an ex officio member and the boards of the Institutions of Higher Learning and State Board for Community and Junior Colleges appoint a member.  The Governor appoints four members, two of which are teachers or principals in elementary and secondary school systems.

Current Board Members

Robert “Bob” J.  Sawyer
Robert “Bob” J. Sawyer
Chairman - Governor Appointee

Bob Sawyer was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Haley Barbour in 2008, elected Vice-Chairman in 2009 and elected Chairman in 2010.  

Sawyer currently serves as Managing Director/Investment Advisor Representative of Trinity Investment Services, L.L.C. and Sawyer Financial in Gulfport.  He, along with his wife and business partner, Suzie, formed Trinity Investments in March 2006.  Trinity is a subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corporation based in St. Louis and all securities clear through Stifel’s sister company, Century Securities Associates, Inc.  He has over 26 years of investment experience.  

Trinity was chosen as the recipient of the 2008 Business Integrity Award given by the Better Business Bureau and the 2008 Tapestry Award in the category of Personal Services from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.  

He is one of only sixty financial advisors nationwide who are Master Certified members of the HS Dent Advisors Network.  Dent Advisors work closely with the noted economist and investment analyst Harry S. Dent to apply his unique research to managing client portfolios.  He has also completed extensive training with renowned IRA specialist Ed.  He is a licensed Series 7 General Securities Agent, Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent and Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative.  He is also licensed in the area of Chartered Federal Employee Benefits.  

Sawyer earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.  He is currently a member of the Gulfport Business Club, the Gulf Coast Business Council, and the Gulfport Rotary Club.  He is former Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Harrison County Development Commission.

His term expires June 30, 2012.


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David  Allen
David Allen
Governor Appointee

David Allen was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Haley Barbour in 2010 to represent an actively engaged teacher or principal in an elementary school system.

Since 2005, Allen has been the Assistant Principal of Bayou View Elementary, a Mississippi Star School and National Blue Ribbon School in Gulfport.  He has served as the School-To-Careers Coordinator for the Gulfport School District and Director of the Academy of Travel and Tourism at Gulfport High School.  

Allen has served as a band director in the public schools and at the community college level, including assignments as Director of Bands at D’Iberville High School and Assistant Band Director at Ocean Springs High School and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  While at Ocean Springs High School and MGCCC, he served as staff piano accompanist for the choral programs and toured with the Ocean Springs High School Choir in Austria, Germany, and Italy.  

Allen currently serves as choir director and organist at St. James Catholic Church in Gulfport and as organist at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Orange Grove and St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs.  He is the assistant director and accompanist for the Ocean Springs Civic Chorale, performing in such venues as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and St. Peter’s Basilica (The Vatican) in Rome, as well as various venues throughout Scotland, England, France, and Greece.  Allen also remains an active private drum major instructor and adjudicator.  

He is currently studying in the diaconate formation program in the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi and is scheduled to be ordained as a Catholic permanent deacon in June 2013.  

While earning his bachelor of music education degree at Mississippi State University, he served as the head drum major of the 330-member Famous Maroon Band.  Allen received his master of education degree in administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.  

His term expires June 30, 2013.


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Dr. Tom Burnham
Dr. Tom Burnham
Ex Officio

Tom Burnham began his second tenure as State Superintendent of Education in January 2010. 

Prior to his appointment as State Superintendent of Education, Burnham served as the Dean of the School of Education at the University of Mississippi and has served as Superintendent of Henderson County (North Carolina) Public Schools and Superintendent of Biloxi Public Schools.   

Burnham has been recognized by the Mississippi Association of School Administrators with the Golden Lamp Award.  He was selected as a semifinalist for the Jay Robinson Leadership Award presented by the North Carolina Public Education Forum and is a recipient of the Phil Hardin Award for Distinguished Service to Education in Mississippi.  He has also been recognized as Alumnus of the Year by both Mississippi College and Delta State University.

He is a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the American Association of School Administrators, the Association for Curriculum Development and Supervision, and the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Burnham holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in school administration from Mississippi College and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Delta State University.


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Dr. Eric  Clark
Dr. Eric Clark
State Board of Community and Junior Colleges Appointee

Dr. Eric Clark, Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, was appointed in 2010 to the Board of Directors.  

Clark began serving as Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges in January 2008.  He previously served for twelve years as the Mississippi Secretary of State and sixteen years as a member of the Mississippi Legislature.  

He was recognized with the “God and Country” Award from the American Family Association for authoring the law that outlawed possession of child pornography in Mississippi and was awarded the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Legislator of the Year for his efforts to preserve natural lands on the Gulf Coast.  Clark was twice awarded the Mississippi Nature Conservancy’s Public Service Award. 

Clark currently serves on the boards of the State Workforce Investment Board, the Mississippi Technology Alliance, the Mississippi Council for Education Technology, the Mississippi Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and the Advisory Council of Mississippi Economic Council’s Blueprint Mississippi 2011. 

He is a member of the Mississippi Economic Council, Mississippi Farm Bureau, the Mississippi Forestry Association, and the Mississippi Historical Society.

Clark attended Jones County Junior College and received a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College, a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi, and his doctorate degree in history from Mississippi State University.

His term expires June 30, 2012.


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Peggy Fowlkes  Holmes
Peggy Fowlkes Holmes
Vice Chairman - Governor Appointee

Peggy Holmes was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to represent a teacher in the secondary school system.

She has been teaching for 30 years at Amory High School and continues to teach Drama and Oral Communication I and II.  Under Holmes’ direction, Amory High School was awarded in 2007 by USA Today the Best Theatre Production of the Year in the state of Mississippi for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and in 2008 for “Forever Plaid.”  

Holmes was awarded the 2008 League Educator Apple Award from The Broadway League® for a commitment to arts education and collaborating with venues that present touring Broadway shows.  Leading her students to observe professional theatre productions at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, resulted in Amory High School to become the first high school in the theatre’s 80-year history to be invited to perform a full-length musical on the Orpheum stage before a crowd of over 2,000.    

In 1973, Holmes was named Mississippi’s Speech Teacher of the Year and was awarded Teacher of the Year from Congressional District 1 in 1980.  She has served as an adjunct professor at Itawamba Community College and is co-author of “Speech Communication:  The English Teacher’s Responsibility.”   

Holmes is a graduate of Mississippi College and received advanced degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi in educational theatre and a specialist degree in secondary education from the University of South Alabama.  She also earned an administration endorsement from Mississippi State University and a specialist degree in English from the University of Mississippi.

Her term expires June 30, 2013.


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Perry Sansing
Governor Appointee

Perry Sansing was appointed to the Board of Directors by Governor Haley Barbour in 2004 and re-appointed in 2007and 2011.  He was elected Vice-Chairman in 2005 and served as Chairman from 2006 through July 2010.  

Sansing serves as the assistant to the president and university counsel for Mississippi University for Women.  

He served as law clerk for Chief Judge Charles Clark of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals before becoming a partner in the law firms of Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes and of Adams & Reese in Jackson.

Sansing is past president of the Council of School Board Attorneys, the Epilepsy Foundation of Mississippi, and Town & Tower Club of Columbus.  He has served on the board of directors of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association and the Columbus Air Force Base Community Council.

He is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association. 

Sansing holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Mississippi.  He received his juris doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi. 

His term expires June 30, 2015.


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  • May 21, 2014 9:30 AM
    Regular Telephonic, Joint
    MPB Board room
    3825 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson, MS 39211
  • May 21, 2014
    Regular Telephonic, Joint
  • April 17, 2013
    Special Telephonic
  • March 19, 2013
    Regular Telephonic
  • April 09, 2013
    Special Telephonic
  • February 08, 2013
    Special Telephonic
  • February 04, 2013
    Special Telephonic
  • November 13, 2012
    Telephonic
  • October 09, 2012
    Regular Telephonic
  • September 11, 2012
    Regular Telephonic
  • August 21, 2012
    Special Telephonic
  • September 11, 2012
    Special Telephonic
  • July 31, 2012
    Telephonic
  • June 19, 2012
    Telephonic
  • May 08, 2012
    CANCELLED
  • June 21, 2011
    Special