BESE meeting on July 14, 2020 (copy)

Tony Davis, right, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who lives in Natchitoches, announced  last year he is resigning from the board to take a job in Indiana.

A Shreveport attorney announced Tuesday he will run for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education post in northwest Louisiana being vacated by Tony Davis.

Michael Melerine, a Republican, said his family always emphasized the importance of education.

"My parents not only preached the importance of education but also sacrificed to ensure I could obtain the best education possible," Melerine said in a statement.

He said "if we provide our children with a quality education then they will have a chance to succeed which will, in turn, benefit all of Louisiana for generations to come."

Melerine received his undergraduate degree from LSU and his law degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU in 2013.

BESE sets policies for about 720,000 students statewide.

Melerine practices law in the same firm as state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport.

He is the second announced candidate for the post.

Shelly McFarland, vice-president of a timber firm in Jonesboro, is also running.

She is married to state Rep. Jack McFarland, R-Jonesboro.

Email Will Sentell at