Hopkins ready to serve on School Board

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Editor’s note: This story is the second in a series taking a closer look at Franklin’s newest school board members. The third new member, Will Councill, declined to be interviewed for a profile.

FRANKLIN—Glenn Hopkins is used to serving his country. He’s been in the military for more than two decades. Now he’s prepared to serve Franklin citizens on the city’s School Board.

The City Council recently appointed Hopkins to the School Board’s Ward 2 seat and he attended his first meeting as a member Thursday night. He said that it was already changing his view of the education system.

“You gain a better appreciation for what it is to educate the youth today,” he said after the meeting.

Hopkins was born in South Carolina into a military family. “So I moved quite a bit throughout my life,” he said.

For the past 26 years, he has served in the military first with the National Guard and currently with the Navy.

Hopkins, who recently returned from a year tour of duty in Iraq, has never doubted his decision to serve in the armed forces.

“I think that the ability to serve your country is just honorable, and I fully believe in our military and what it is that we do,” he said. “I love our nation and I love to serve it.”

A few years ago, when he got orders to serve at Norfolk, Hopkins said that he and his family were looking for a specific type of community to call home: small, family-oriented, close-knit and safe.

“Franklin had all of those qualities,” he said.

Hopkins said that his military service pushed him to serve in his own community.

“We talk about service to our nation,” he said. “This is an opportunity to serve my community.”

He said that he is pleased with the education his two sons, Matthew and Zackary, have received in Franklin City Public Schools.

“I’m very, very proud of the school system,” Hopkins said, pointing out the recent news that all of the division’s schools are fully accredited by the state. “There’s a lot of work, blood, sweat and tears that goes into that.”

Over the course of his three-year term, Hopkins hopes to help build on the current successes of the system.

“To continue building on what city of Franklin has done with the school system is what I want to stay focused on,” he said. “The things that are important are that they maintain accreditation for the Standards of Learning and we have a strong and robust foundation for education, and that costs money.” Money, however, isn’t everything. He said that “getting the right people” in place is important.

Hopkins said that it’s important that teachers and parents communicate and work together to ensure that students are receiving the best education possible.

“You have to have a solid foundation to be successful in today’s high-technology world,” he said.

With his work schedule, and now his School Board duties, Hopkins doesn’t have much free time, but he recently started fishing, primarily for bass, in the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers.

“I don’t have too much time to do anything else,” he said.

Hopkins and his wife, Martha, have been married for 23 years. Their oldest son, Matthew, is a 2009 graduate of Franklin High School and will attend Paul D. Camp Community College studying computer technology. Their younger son, Zackary, is a rising ninth-grader and junior varsity football player at Franklin High School.

Hopkins said that he is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the School Board, and he is looking forward to helping shape the community’s future.

“We talk about building partnerships and relationships on the board to advance the betterment of the youth in Franklin. These are our future leaders. To be able to be a part of that is very good,” he said.