Franklin school chairman seat is vacant

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019



robert holt

Robert Holt

The Franklin City School Board announced during Thursday night’s work session that the seat for chairman is vacant. Robert Holt has relocated to another ward within the city. He served on the school board from 1993 to 1999 and served as chairman from 1995 to 1999. Holt returned to the board as school board chairman and representative of Ward 6 in July 2015. His last day as chairman was on April 30.

Holt told The Tidewater News on Tuesday that he was informed by the board’s attorney, Taylor Williams, that once Holt moved, he had to be off the board.

Asked if he’ll look to get back on board, Holt said that Rebecca Jester has the seat in the district where he now lives.

“She’s doing a good job. If she chooses to leave, then I will consider it, but I will certainly not ask her to not run; same with the at-large position [held by Carrie Johnson],” said Holt, who acknowledged that he enjoyed his time on the board. “I miss it. I think we did a lot of good things.”

“We want to acknowledge Robert Holt and his service as chairman of the school board. We wish him the very best on his endeavors,” said Andrea Hall-Leonard, who is presiding as interim chairwoman.

Franklin City School Board members are appointed by the Franklin City Council. There will be a public hearing on Monday, May 13, to receive nominations for Wards 2, 5 and 6.


In other school news, Superintendent Tamara Sterling presented a letter from Hampton Roads Workforce Council {formerly Opportunity Inc.), which stated that the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board has approved Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding for the school district’s in-school youth program in the amount of $125,000 to serve 25 in-school youth between July 1 and June 30, 2020.

Sterling also shared with the board news about some upcoming summer programs for the year. The first is a residential camp that is operated by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. The camp is open for rising second to eighth graders and will take place on June 16 and on June 24 at Camp Darden in Courtland. An informational meeting will be in J.P. King Jr. Middle School on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. with Parents as Partners.

Starting on Saturday, June 22 to July 6, Pathways for Future Engineers will be at the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The program is designed to support first generation students and their families on the pathway from high school to an engineering degree. The program will include pre-college activities as well as additional support as students pursue their undergraduate degree. So far, 11 students from Franklin High School have applied for and are awaiting acceptance.

Also at Virginia Tech is the Imagination Summer 2019 Residential Camp that runs from July 21 to July 27, 2019. The camp is residential program that allow selected students to participate in an introduction to exciting and fun things that are done with the engineers and scientists of Virginia Tech. Twenty students from the school district will be attending the camp.

STEPHEN H. COWLES, staff writer, contributed to this story.