Blunt will oversee transportation at Southampton County Public Schools

Published 10:54 am Monday, August 15, 2011

COURTLAND—Franklin Public Schools Transportation Administrator Ricky Blunt is leaving for a similar position with Southampton County Public Schools.

Blunt will replace Billy Grizzard, the former executive director of operations who retired on June 30 after 38 years with the district. Blunt will start Aug. 23 and be paid $72,000 annually for the renamed title of director of auxiliary services. The position involves overseeing transportation and building maintenance.

“Mr. Blunt interviewed exceptionally well and has excellent talent and skills,” said Dr. Wayne Smith, executive director for administration and personnel for the school district. “His expertise in transportation brought him to the top.”

Blunt has been transportation administrator for Franklin for five years and was a supervisor for Hampton Roads Transit in Norfolk for one year. Prior to that, he operated Franklin Bus Service for 25 years; Blunt purchased the business from his father, Gurnie Blunt, and has since closed it.

Leaving Franklin was a tough decision, but Ricky Blunt believes it was a good move for his career and family.

“Franklin has treated me well,” he said. “I had great support from the school board and the superintendent. I got along really well with the administration. I’m going to really miss the drivers. We were a great team. They made me look good.”

A Franklin native, Blunt graduated from Franklin High School in 1974 and received a degree in business administration from Virginia State University in 1978.

He and his wife, Dorothy, who works in customer service for Capstone Paper Co. in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., have two children. Their son Ricky Jr., 28, is a mechanical engineer in Henrico County and daughter is Rickeita, 26, teaches for Richmond City Public Schools. They also have a grandson, Ricky Blunt III, 3.

Gail Wade, director of human resources and administrative sources for Franklin Public Schools, said she’s not sure if Blunt’s duties will be reassigned or someone will be hired.

“We are trying to work out a plan so we can be sure all of our transportation needs are covered,” Wade said. “We certainly will utilize Mr. Blunt the next couple of weeks.”

“We sure hate to lose Mr. Blunt and all his experience,” she added. “I know he has done a wonderful job in Franklin and will be an asset in Southampton.”