Dr. Fenton Peters1935 - 2014
He is particularly remembered for his work in education, first as a teacher and then an administrator. Dr. Peters lived his entire life in Oktibbeha County. He went to high school at Oktibbeha County Training School, where he graduated as valedictorian. At Rust College he graduated with the highest honors in biology. His educational career began in 1958 at the Oktibbeha County Training School as a science teacher, and then continued as principal of Henderson High School, the first principal of the integrated Henderson Junior High, principal of Starkville High School, and assistant superintendent of the Starkville School District. His more than 55 years of work in education had a great influence on the lives of young people in Oktibbeha County.
He is remembered especially as being a very calm and even tempered individual, which was a great asset during Starkville’s transition from segregation to integration in 1970. Because of his calm temperament, he was able to manage the tensions between white and black teachers and students with special “fairness, even-handedness, and Integrity.” During tension filled years of going from segregation to integration, he suffered many assaults—blown up mailboxes, slashed tires, and personal threats to his life and members of his family, but with his determined faith, he remained strong, and continued his work for the community.
In addition to his work in education, he served on the Oktibbeha County Hospital Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Cadence Bank Board, the Starkville Symphony Board, and volunteered for several community organizations. He was named the Greater Starkville Development Partnership member of the year and was presented the T. E. Veitch Award.
Finally, Dr. Peters was well known throughout the county for his love of music, and he served as choir director at his church. The choir became known for its unique sound and toured Mississippi, bringing joy and inspiration to many people. He spent his entire life in service to this county, through his educational talents and skills, and his strong, determined, but calming personality. The Unity Park Committee is pleased to present George W. Evans and Dr. Fenton Peters as their 2021
Unity Park Honorees.