Smith to lead S’hampton board

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

COURTLAND—Chris Smith on Monday was unanimously chosen as Southampton County School Board’s new chairman.

Smith replaces Russell Schools, who retired after 41 years on the board.

The board unanimously chose member Roberta Naranjo as its vice chairwoman.

The board also set members’ annual salaries at $5,000, with the chairman receiving an additional $300.

The meeting was the first for new superintendent Dr. Alvera Parrish, who began working for the school district on July 1. Parrish replaces Charles Turner, who retired after 44 years with the school district, including 13 years as superintendent. Parrish was the former superintendent for Petersburg City Public Schools.

In other matters, the school board learned of the 183 seniors who graduated on June 16, 87 received advanced degrees and 63 were honor graduates. Seniors received a total of $2.6 million in scholarships.

Sixteen seniors in summer school are expected to graduate during a 7 p.m. ceremony on Thursday, July 19, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Timothy Kelly.

The board also:

• Gave permission for next year’s seniors to travel to Orlando from March 20-24.

• Learned the school district received a $20,000 grant from Franklin Southampton Charities.

• Learned Southampton High School’s students and teachers had the best attendance during 2011-2012 among the district’s six buildings. The student attendance rate was 95.5 percent and teachers, 94.6 percent. The students will receive ice cream and the teachers will be treated to lunch.