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Two nominations made for Franklin school board

Published 10:09am Wednesday, May 15, 2013

FRANKLIN—During a public hearing Monday night, Franklin City Council accepted two nominations put forth for School Board seats.

The city’s charter requires the public hearing for the council to appoint school board members. According to city attorney Taylor Williams, only those nominated can be considered.

Nancy Godwin was nominated for Ward 2 by Terry Godwin, and Jeanette Austin nominated for Ward 5 by school board member Verta Jackson.

Godwin, of Clay Street, has lived in Franklin for 13 years and has served on the PTA at S.P. Morton with two years as president. She has served on the “No Child Left Behind” committee as well. Godwin works with the Franklin High School Booster Club and has been a substitute teacher at both S.P. Morton and J.P. King for the past eight years. She is a University of Georgia graduate and has two sons.

Austin, of Virginia Street, is a Franklin High School graduate and has her associate’s degree in business.

Following the public hearing, council accepted the nominations and there was discussion among members of setting a date for a special called meeting to interview both nominees. They unanimously agreed to meet with Godwin and Austin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 20. After council meets with the candidates separately and they feel the nominees are capable of performing as a school board member, at the next regular meeting council will provide a motion to appoint them for a three-year term.

Glenn Hopkins is the school board member representing Ward 2. He had been appointed for a three-year term, but not in the proper rotation. He has decided not to seek reappointment. A school board member can be reappointed for three, three-year terms, but must go through the process or be reappointed each time.

Verta Jackson, the Ward 5 school board member, is completing her second, three-year term on Monday, June 30. She would have been eligible for another term, but the 2010 census redistricted some of the lines to have the correct number of people in each ward, and her home was redistricted putting her in Ward 4.

The way the terms are set up, according to Williams:

• Ward 1: Will Councill — term expires June 30, 2014

• Ward 2: Glenn Hopkins — term expires June 30, 2013

• Ward 3: Johnetta Nichols — term expires June 30, 2014

• Ward 4: Sherita Ricks-Parker — term expires June 30, 2015

• Ward 5: Verta Jackson — term expires June 30, 2013

• Ward 6: Cindy Fillhart — term expires June 30, 2015

• At large : Edna King — term expires June 30, 2015

The school board rotation is for two members in 2013, two members in 2014 and three members in 2015. Williams said the rotation got “out of whack” when members were appointed to full three-year terms instead of unexpired terms.

Williams said that after the interview process at the called meeting May 20, if the nominees are found to not be acceptable or if council decides a bigger pool is needed, the process will be gone through again with a notice of public hearing printed in the newspaper; a public hearing held for further nominations and then another interview process.

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