School board chairman mum on seeking another term

Published 9:59 am Thursday, May 10, 2012

COURTLAND—Russell Schools, chairman of the Southampton County School Board, during Monday’s 7 p.m. board meeting will announce whether or not he plans to seek another term.

The representative for the Capron District, Schools has served on the board for 41 years.

“I’m thinking about it and I’m going to make a decision,” he said Wednesday. “I will make a statement on Monday night. I want to let the board know before I put anything in the paper.”

Schools’ term and the term for Drewryville District Board Member Becky Blackburn expired on June 30. Blackburn, who has served for 20 years, said she will ask to be reappointed for one more term.

“I have fully enjoyed my tenure on the school board,” said Blackburn. “Like (school board member) Florence Reynolds says, ‘we fell like we’re a family and these children are ours.”

A 62-year-old homemaker, Blackburn began serving on the school board when her children were in school.

A public hearing for candidates will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 5, at the administration building in Courtland. That is also the deadline to apply. As of Thursday, no one else had expressed an interest in the $5,000-a-year positions.

Court-appointed School Board Selection Commission members Mark Hodges, Wayne Cosby and Emerson Kitchen, all of Southampton County, will make the appointments for four-year terms that begin July 1.

Southampton is among 24 of Virginia’s 134 school districts where voters do not choose school board members.

Terms expiring in 2013 are for Newsoms District Board Member Denise Bunn and at-large member Deborah Goodwyn; in 2014, at-large member Dian Jones, Boykins District Roberta Naranjo and Jerusalem District Christopher Smith St.; and in 2015, Franklin District Board Member Lynn Bradley and Reynolds from the Berlin/Ivor District.