Franklin School Board readies to elect chair

Published 11:04 am Friday, July 4, 2014

FRANKLIN—Two names for School Board Chair were proposed on Tuesday at the board’s called organization meeting. The vote came back 3-3.

Dawna Walton, ward 6, nominated Will Councill of Ward 1, who has been on the board for five years. Sherita Ricks-Parker then nominated Edna King, who has been the chair for the last 3 years.

Councill, Walton and Nancy Godwin, ward 2, voted for Councill. Ricks-Parker, King and new board member Andrea Hall-Leonard, ward 3, voted for King. Ward 5’s Jeanette Austin was absent.

“I just think, as a board — and not just our board, but any board — that you need to change it up and have a fresh perspective,” Walton said. “We have a new superintendent, and I’m looking forward to working with him. As a board, I think we need a fresh start as well.”

Walton said there were no ill-feelings toward King.

“Edna has done a good job,” she said. “It is just time for change, and change is not always a bad thing.

“I think Will will do a very good job, and he’ll have a different perspective.”

King said the division is beginning to show improvement, and she feels like she can contribute.

“My awareness of school law and the standards of quality have proven to be an asset to our board,” she said.

Councill said that Walton approached him, and he agreed that it would be a good opportunity for a change with a new superintendent coming in.

“Nothing against Mrs. King, but after a while you just need a change in leadership,” he said. “But being honest, if Mrs. King gets this thing, I am going to support her 100 percent. I believe that she feels the same way.”

Seeing the negative way the board is viewed in the community is what swayed Godwin.

“It is important for us to move ahead,” she said. “Nothing against Edna, I just think we need a refresh. We need to move forward.”

Ricks-Parker and Hall-Leonard could not be reached for comment, despite multiple attempts.

The board is scheduled to vote on this issue on Tuesday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall Chambers.

“People and the different boards need to come out and say who they support,” Walton said. “They need to say why they want a change, or why they want to keep it the same.”