Franklin schools superintendent out, interim replacement named

WAVY/Matt Gregory

FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — Franklin City Public Schools have made a big change in their leadership.

At the end of a week that began with the city council calling for the entire school board’s resignation, the board made a move to remove the superintendent.

The city attorney tells 10 On Your Side he found out Friday night about a closed session meeting of the school board.

Franklin City Council demands resignation of school board

The result of the meeting was that Dr. Willie Bell was terminated as superintendent of Franklin schools. His interim replacement will be Director of Teaching, Learning and Accountability Kelvin Edwards, Sr.

In a Nov. 4 letter to Franklin City Public Schools, Bell said in part:

In honor of my legacy, I implore you to remain steadfast to the vision and mission of the division by keeping the children first. Remember that they are the reason that we enter the halls of our respective buildings daily.”

In a letter submitted to 10 On Your Side, the chairwoman of the school board, Dr. Andrea Hall-Leonard, asked that the city council reconsider it’s resignation resolution. The city attorney for Franklin told 10 On Your Side there will be a city council closed session meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The meeting will look at “the performance of appointees.”

The city’s attorney said he is still expecting the resignations of every school board member by midnight. So far, three members have resigned.

The school district released statements from Edwards and Dr. Hall-Leonard, the Chairman of the Franklin City Public School Board: