Carter named Franklin City Public Schools interim superintendent

Published 6:40 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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The Franklin City School Board voted 5-0 on Thursday, Oct. 20, to name Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel and Operations Dr. Carlton Carter as the interim superintendent for Franklin City Public Schools.

At-Large Board Member and Vice Chair Carrie Johnson abstained from voting, and Marchelle F. Williams was not present. Ward 1 Board Member and Board Chair Robert Holt stated Friday, Oct. 21, that Williams resigned as the board’s Ward 4 representative effective Oct. 17.

Dr. Tamara Sterling, who had been the Franklin school division’s superintendent since June 2017, submitted a memo Sept. 23 announcing her own resignation effective Nov. 30. 

The school board voted 6-0 to accept her resignation Oct. 6, with Ward 2 Board Member Arwen Councill abstaining. Sterling and the board also agreed at the Oct. 6 meeting that her final day as FCPS superintendent would be Friday, Oct. 21.

Sterling has been named as the new superintendent of Petersburg City Public Schools where she is set to start Dec. 1.


Carter has served as an assistant superintendent for FCPS for two-and-a-half years, and he has worked in the education field for more than 25 years.

He spent eight years as a school principal and seven years as an assistant principal at the middle and high school levels. 

He was a technology teacher for eight years, a senior school turnaround consultant at the American Institute for Research and Center for Collaborative Education for four years, and a flight director at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education for four years.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in technology education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a master’s degree in administration supervision from Bowie State University and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Northcentral University.


Near the close of the Oct. 20 school board meeting, Carter addressed the board and the 30 people in attendance regarding his appointment as interim superintendent.

“Since this is superintendent’s time, I want to also say I thank the board for instilling confidence in me for being the interim,” he said. “And for parents, what I want to say to you is I’ve been in many school systems in my 25-year career with the public sector and the private sector. I can tell you that Franklin City Public Schools can be the highest-performing school system in the state of Virginia. We have everything we need here, and all we have to do is continue to pull together in one direction.

“So the school systems that struggle, they’re divisive and they pull apart,” he continued. “The school systems that always succeed, they come together and they walk with the same sheet of music.

“And so while I’m here, my doors are always open, please reach out to me,” he said. “I’ll be accessible. I’m highly visible, and I’ll be here for you, and thank you for the opportunity.”


Applause followed these remarks, and Holt thanked him for sharing them.

When the opportunity for board member comment came moments later, Councill said, “I really appreciate what Dr. Carter just said, and I want to echo that I have that same belief, and so I’m really appreciative to members of the community that are coming to support the school, and there is no reason for our small division not being the very best in the whole state.”


During Citizens’ Time near the beginning of the meeting, two members of the public addressed Carter directly.

“I’d also like to welcome Dr. Carter,” Brenda Peterson said. Gesturing to those at the meeting, she added, “Please use this group of people as an advocate to help you. That’s all we’re after. It’s all we really care about. We want to make the kids happy, healthy, educated and make life easier for them, better than it is for us.”

Clyde Bailey opened his comments by offering congratulations to Carter, shaking his hand and thanking him for stepping up.

“You’ve got our support, what you need,” Bailey said. “We’re going to get these parents together. If I’ve got to go to all the parents’ houses myself, I’m going to do that. So whatever you need, you let us know, and we’re going to work. I know it ain’t going to be easy. Honestly, I know it ain’t going to be easy, but … we’ve got to put in the effort.”