Expiring school board seats to remain filled by current holders

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Both Franklin City School Board Ward 2 and Ward 5 representatives will serve another term assuming that they accept the position. Ward 2 seat-holder Nancy Godwin and Ward 5 seat-holder Jeanette Austin were nominated at the city council public hearing held on Monday night to continue to serve on the board.

“ I would like to nominate Nancy Godwin. Nancy is doing a fine job now serving Ward 2 on the school board,” Jim Davis said.

He went on two say that Godwin has two children in the school system, one who is a graduating senior and one who is a freshman at Franklin High. Davis also noted that she has been actively involved in the school system for several years now, serving on PTA’s and other associations at each of the indvidual schools.

“We certainly know Mrs. Godwin,” Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn said after Davis was finished.

Yvonne Joyner then stood up to nominate Austin for reappointment to the Ward 5 seat.

“I’m here this evening to nominate Ms. Jeanette Austin for reappointment to Ward 5 school board seat. I believe that Ms. Austin will continue to work at the best interest of our students and the Franklin city public schools,” Joyner said.

She noted that Austin is a graduate of Franklin High, has an associate degree in business and is presently employed at J.C. Penny in Chesapeake.

“I thank all who put themselves back up,” Johnson-Ashburn continued. “Does council wish to do the interview process?”

Councilwoman Mary Hilliard said that she felt it was unnecessary to do the interview process, as the lone nominees for each ward are currently serving.

Councilman Greg McLemore said, “I think that until we move to elected school board members, anything that goes on with the school system, we carry a great deal of responsibility because we appoint those people. And the least we could do express to them during an interview process what we expect.

“That’s the one opportunity we have, during the interview process, to be able to talk to the individual school board members, in an environment where they are to answer our questions,” he added.

A motion was then made to have the interview process. McLemore and Benny Burgess voted yes, while all other council members and the mayor voted against the motion.

Council then made the decision to appoint Godwin and Austin to their seats for the term beginning July 1, at the next meeting.