Mississippi Parent of the Year Kim Nailor speaks about her mission to help

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, April 6, 2023

Kimberly Walker Nailor, Vicksburg resident and mother of two sons in the Vicksburg Warren School District, was named 2023 Mississippi Parent of the Year by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).

“I was surprised,” Nailor said. “It was a humbling surprise.”

Nailor is a longtime volunteer for VWSD, including working on numerous fundraisers, mentoring programs and special events. She is currently the City Attorney for the City of Vicksburg and has been practicing law for 17 years.

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One project Nailor helped run was a mentoring program for female students that focused on teaching them how to make good decisions.

“In 2015, Emmarie Flags and I, we both did this girls’ group over at Warren Central Junior High,” Nailor said. “And they had a group of girls that were getting in trouble, skipping school, just a lot of issues.”

The two made the gathering into a weekly event.

“Every Monday for a whole semester, she and I would meet with a group of these 20 to 30 girls, and we would talk to them about self-esteem, just making sure they knew healthy relationships (and were doing) school work,” Nailor said. “And a lot of those girls had some personal issues that were affecting their performance in school. And so once we finished those sessions, we ended up having this big brunch with the young ladies.”

The principal of Vicksburg High School, Dr. Tameka Hyland, was responsible for nominating Nailor for the VWSD Parent of the Year Award. After Nailor won that award, the statewide winner was selected by MDE from a pool of Parent of the Year winners from every district in Mississippi.

“Kim is very hands-on. She’s very active, and we’re very lucky to have her to be a part of our organization at Vicksburg High School. She came in, she worked with teachers, she worked with students to give them a sense of relevancy about what they were learning and to make learning really engaging,” Hyland said. “She’s an awesome person. She’s a great parent, and she goes above and beyond for our students. And as a principal, it makes you feel good that you have parents who are willing to come in and be a true support to the organization and to our students.”

Much of Nailor’s ability and drive to volunteer comes from her family, especially her two sons, Cameron Nailor, 16, and Brandon Nailor, 14.

“My kids make it easy. They’re good. I have to get onto them; they’re boys,” Nailor said. “But the love that they have for me and the love that I have for them makes it easy to be a Parent of the Year. So it’s not necessarily the things that I do for the school district.”

Nailor also mentioned that her drive to help others was something she got from her parents.

“My parents, Ernest and Martha Walker, from the time we were little, we were always going to nursing homes. We were always volunteering and doing things in the community,” Nailor said. “If there was a child that was at risk or just needed some guidance, they would take kids in so that they can teach them, ‘Hey, there’s another way besides the route that you’re going.’ So this is something that’s been ingrained since I was a child, just knowing that we have a greater mission of doing the right thing and serving people.”

Currently, Nailor is taking a break from her many volunteer activities and focusing on raising her children.

“Once they graduate, then I plan on hitting the ground running with doing more activities with the school district,” she said.