Tamara L. Shewmake is a native of the City of Portsmouth, VA, a wife and mother of three beautiful children. She is a graduate of the historical I. C. Norcom High School and Norfolk State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, and graduated Cum Laude with a M.B.A in 2010. She spent her early years in the field of banking and later began a career in the federal and local government sector. During her time as a Special Investigator, she obtained a Top Secret Clearance with the Office of Personnel Management.

Currently Mrs. Shewmake is a Portsmouth Board member and Executive Committee member of Hampton Roads Chamber, 2nd Vice President of Portsmouth PTA Council, a member of the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Young Democrats, Cradock Lions Club, tHRive and Hampton Roads Association of Legal Administrators, Portsmouth Democratic Committee and the Martin Luther King Steering Committee. Mrs. Shewmake served as the youngest board member of Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia Executive Board from 2009-2013 and President of Center for Aging (CFA) Housing from 2011-2013. As the current Chief Administrator of Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, her responsibilities include but not limited to; proposing and managing state and local budget(s), grant budget(s), contract management, human resources management and information technology.

Mrs. Shewmake is the Founder of I. C. Norcom Alumni Cheerleading Association, and the Founder of Financial, Accounting, Investments and Revenue (FAIR) which provides middle and high school students with the basic knowledge of financial education, and a fair chance at financial responsibility.

School Board Campaign:

  • Early literacy is a key component of the success of a child and essentially an adult. We often invest our resources in the traditional k-12 education; however, we overlook the importance of the foundation, which is early literacy. By the time a child is 3 years of age, their brain has cognitively developed 85%. This means by the age of three (3), a child should master the skills of letter and number recognition, phonological awareness, print awareness, narrative and writing skills. “Children with poor reading skills are more likely to repeat a grade setting the stage for a pattern of failure in school. The fundamentals for being a good reader (i.e. cognitive and language skills) are learned before children reach school age. ” (National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, 2009). Studies show that this blueprint develops readiness skills and sets the course for a prosperous student, and helps to prevent high school drop outs.
  • Financial literacy is imperative and extremely pertinent to every adult, which is why our children should be exposed at an early age. A child of middle school and high school age, should begin understanding financial education; from basic savings to entrepreneurship. “More often than not, financial education is learned through economic crisis, rather than taught to prevent a personal fiscal calamity.”~Tamara L. Shewmake
  • Vocational training is not just skill preparation for high demand jobs, but it provides a trade or craft that can emerge into entrepreneurship. “Effective vocational education and entrepreneurship development inculcate in the learner the skills to critically analyze local conditions and find solutions that fit local means and culture” (Fajimi, 2005). Economic development arises from the mind of a skilled individual, which creates a thriving government.