MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Dr. Tommie “Tonea” Stewart, the former dean of Alabama State University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, is picking up a new role in the world of education. Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey appointed her to the Alabama State Board of Education.
Stewart will hit the ground running, attending her first board meeting on Thursday.
Dr. Stewart’s appointment to the board fills the District 5 seat that became empty after Board Member Ella Bell’s death in November.
“Alabama’s students and teachers deserve our best, and Dr. Stewart is prepared to offer that,” Governor Ivey said in a statement. “Dr. Stewart is bringing forth a great passion and a lifetime of unique experience that I know will greatly benefit Alabama’s students and educators. I look forward to serving alongside her as we work to build a stronger future for our state. Education must be at the core of all of our efforts, and that begins with the leadership at the top.”
“Education is the pathway for our children’s future. It is our charge to motivate, validate, and create a positive environment for teaching the youth and supporting the employees that our children encounter,” Dr. Stewart said. “This was the focus of Board Member Ella Bell, and her work will not be in vain. It is important that the state of Alabama’s educational system deserves student preparedness.”
Steward has degrees from Jackson State University, the University of California Santa Barbara, and Florida State University. While she served for more than a decade in her role as a dean at ASU, she’s contributed to several scholarly works.
She’s also a professional actress and has appeared in many films, television series and stage productions, including roles in A Time to Kill, The Rosa Parks Story and American Horror Stories. She was a celebrity guest to Turkey, the Scottish Parliament and in Seoul, South Korea.
She and her husband, Dr. Allen Stewart, raised their children in the Montgomery Public School System.
The board appointment is effective immediately.