Patillo, Atkinson re-elected as Board chair, vice-chair

Patillo, Atkinson elected School Board chairman, vice-chairwoman
Posted on 01/07/2022
Patillo, Atkinson elected School Board chairman, vice-chairwoman

At its Jan. 6 reorganizational meeting, the School Board of the City of Portsmouth re-elected Dr. Cardell Patillo as its chairman and LaKeesha “Klu” Atkinson as vice-chairwoman.

Patillo was first elected to the School Board in November of 2014. He has served as School Board Chairman since 2021. Patillo is the Executive Director for Mile High Kids and Community Development, Inc. He completed his undergraduate studies at Norfolk State University and Liberty University; a master’s degree in pastoral counseling at Liberty University; and a Master of Divinity degree at The Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. In 2021, he earned a Doctorate Degree in Health Administration from Virginia University of Lynchburg. In addition to his role on the Board, Patillo continues to serve the community through other boards and appointments. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Virginia Public School Authority and is on the Board of Directors for the Virginia School Board Association.

Atkinson was first elected to the School Board in 2016, and she has served as School Board Vice-Chairwoman since 2021. She is the founder of the “Believe, Pray, Overcome” organization and is a leader in a variety of community efforts and events, including the “We Are Against Bullying” program, which focuses on the prevention of bullying. A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Atkinson went on to graduate from Norfolk State University as a criminal justice major and minoring in sociology. Atkinson also serves as a board member of the Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP and serves on the M.A.N (Men.Alleviating.Negativity) Foundation Board.

For more information about the new chairman and vice-chairwoman as well as members of the School Board, including upcoming Board meetings, visit the School Board page on

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