Franklin welcomes new teachers

Published 11:14 am Friday, August 18, 2017

The banquet room at Franklin Seafood and Steakhouse was nearly at standing room only capacity on Wednesday afternoon when the restaurant hosted this year’s Franklin City Public Schools new teacher luncheon. A total of 26 newly hired FCPS teachers attended, along with representatives from the division’s administrative staff, superintendent’s office and school board.

Luncheon coordinator Gail Wade, who also serves as the division’s director of human resources and administrative services, said that while this is the first year FCPS has had the luncheon at the Franklin Seafood and Steakhouse, the event is an annual tradition and part of the division’s new teacher orientation.

The progam began with remarks from Mayor Frank Rabil and an invocation by Deputy Superintendent Kelvin Edwards Sr. FCPS employees were then treated to a buffet-style lunch of fried chicken and steak.

Lunch was followed by remarks by School Board Chairman Bob Holt, who referred to the coming school year as “the year of the new,” citing the division’s number of new hires, new school board members and new superintendent, Tamara Sterling. Wade then introduced each of the division’s new hires.

Emily Saunders, who will teach English at Franklin High School, said she was drawn to FCPS because of the city’s small-town environment and because she had heard good things about the administration and the other teachers. Saunders is entering her first year of teaching, and has her bachelor of arts degree in English from Old Dominion University.

Jessica Montague, who will teach seventh grade science at J.P. King Jr. Middle School, also cited Franklin’s small-town environment as her motivation to seek employment with FCPS. She will be entering her second year as a teacher, having taught previously at Portsmouth Public Schools. Montague is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, and has her bachelor of science degree in biology.

Demetrious Gray, who will serve as S.P. Morton Elementary School’s new health and physical education teacher, said that one of the factors that influenced his decision to come to FCPS was meeting Dr. Sherrie Davis, S.P. Morton’s principal, who, like Gray, is a graduate of Virginia State University. He has a bachelor of science degree in health science.

Gray will be entering his first year teaching, but comes from a family of teachers. He will be the third generation to enter the profession.

“It’s in my blood,” he said.