Co-Lin Band and Colette Alumni Chapter to honor Blackmon, Steadman, Parker and Bush at Homecoming
The Band and Colette chapter of the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Alumni Association will induct Janet Douglas Blackmon of Oxford and Charles Edward (Eddie) Steadman, Jr. of Crestview, Florida into its Hall of Fame and will honor LaToya Bradley Parker of Brookhaven and Stephen Paul Bush of Summit as the Stanley Stewart Outstanding Young Alumni recipients during Homecoming festivities on Thursday, October 28.
Blackmon, the chapter’s 2020 Hall of Fame honoree, is a 1974 graduate of Co-Lin High School and a 1976 of the College. During high school, Blackmon was a member of the band for four years, a member of the flag corps for two years and a Colette for two years. In college, Blackmon was a Colette and was Head Colette her sophomore year. She was also an editor of the Trillium, freshman class president, a freshman beauty, and a sophomore campus favorite. After Co-Lin, Blackmon attended the University of Alabama where she was a member of the Alabama Million Dollar Band Crimsonettes. She was a member of Phi Mu Sorority and graduated in 1978 with a degree in home economics.
In 1980, Blackmon returned to Co-Lin and became Colette Director, Color Guard Coordinator, and Sojourner Choreographer until 1992. Blackmon moved to Oxford with her family and spent the rest of her career in education, teaching Early Childhood Education at South Panola High School for 18 years and serving as a Dual Enrollment Instructor with Northwest MS Community College for five years.
Blackmon has served on the Mississippi Department of Education Early Childhood Education Curriculum Writing Team and as an Education Methods Class Trainer. She is a member of the Mississippi Association of Career Technical Educators, the Mississippi Association of Family Consumer Science Teachers, and the Family Career and Community Leaders of America. Blackmon was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2004 and in 2020 was recognized as the Mississippi Association of Family Consumer Science Educators Teacher of the Year and was Teacher of the Year at South Panola High School. She is a member of North Oxford Baptist Church. Blackmon and her husband Steve have one son, Douglas.
Steadman, the chapter’s 2021 Hall of Fame honoree, is a 1976 graduate of Co-Lin where he was a member of the marching, concert, and jazz bands, as well as the concert choir and Sojourners. He was selected to Who’s Who is American Junior Colleges and was a two-time member of the Mississippi Junior College All-State Band. After Co-Lin, Steadman attended the University of Southern Mississippi and received a music education degree. He later earned a master’s degree in music from Mississippi College.
Steadman began his career teaching band in various Mississippi schools where his bands consistently earned superior ratings. During that time, Steadman served as president of the East Central Mississippi Band Directors Association, president of the Capitol District Band Directors Association, and served as chairman of the Music Selection Committee for the Mississippi Band Directors Association for two years.
In 1988, Steadman was hired as director of bands at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida before becoming the band director at Lewis Middle School, where he fell in love with teaching middle school students and made the commitment to remain teaching at that level. For the next 22 years, Steadman served as a middle school band director in Okaloosa County and his bands received superior ratings at all Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) events, as well as regional and national events.
Steadman has received the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association and the Cox Communications/Bravo Champion for the Arts award. He has been selected as Teacher of the Year twice and received the Oliver Hobbs Award by FBA. He was named Outstanding Band Director in Florida by the Omega Chapter of Phi Beta Mu and was inducted into the Florida Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame in 2019. Steadman is a member of the Okaloosa County Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, the Florida Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, and is a life member of the Florida Bandmasters Association.
Steadman is a member of Crosspoint United Methodist Church in Niceville, Florida where he sings in the choir, plays in the church orchestra, and serves on the administrative board. He and his wife Terri have two children, David and Alison.
Parker, the chapter’s 2020 Outstanding Young Alum honoree, is a 2006 graduate of Co-Lin. After Co-Lin, Parker attended Mississippi College and received a music education degree. She later earned a master’s degree in music education from William Carey in 2014 and a specialist degree in educational leadership from William Carey in 2017. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership from William Carey, with plans to graduate next summer.
Throughout her career, Parker has served as director of bands for South Leake County High School, Bassfield High School, Collins High School, Natchez High School, and is currently the band director at Jefferson County High School. She has also worked in special education at Brookhaven High School and Denman Junior High. While Parker has been offered jobs in bigger school districts with better band programs, she prefers to teach in schools with a pre-dominantly African American student body to make a bigger impact on the students she encounters. During the pandemic, Parker invented a facemask that was able to be used by bands to better preform.
Parker was married to the late Dedrick Parker and has two children, Dedrick Parker II and Patricia Parker.
Bush, the chapter’s 2021 Outstanding Young Alum honoree, attended Co-Lin from 2001-2004 and again in 2007. After Co-Lin, Bush attended Delta State University and received a music education degree.
Bush began his career as a band director and music teacher at Washington School in Greenville before becoming the assistant band director for North Pike School District in 2011. He leads the North Pike Middle School band, which has been recognized and awarded for superior performances in both stage and sight reading, and is assistant to the North Pike High School marching band, concert band, symphonic band, and various other ensembles.
He is a past president and member of the Southwest Mississippi Band Directors Association, a member of the Mississippi Band Directors Association, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. He is an active member of the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Grand Lodge of Mississippi Free and Accepted Masons.
Bush is a member of First Baptist Church in Summit. He and his wife Keely have one son, James Isaac.
The honorees will be recognized during the Alumni Association’s awards reception at 3:30 at the Thames Center on the Wesson campus. For more information about Homecoming activities, call (601) 643-8313 or visit www.colin.edu.