Franklin debuts new school board after former members were asked to resign

FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) – After spending roughly six weeks without a school board, Franklin City Public Schools is taking a step forward.

On Monday night, only 10 On Your Side was there as four of the five newly-appointed members conducted their first public meeting.

“The children are what we’re all here for,” said Amy Phillips, one of the brand new members. “It’s a great way to show our children that if you want change, you’ve gotta be active.”

The shake-up comes after city council requested that the previous board members resign. Council had apparently lost faith in the members’ ability to properly manage funds.

During Monday’s meeting, City Attorney Taylor Williams acknowledged the previous board with kind words.

“They did serve the school division and serve the city so therefore, we should be appreciative of that service.”

Two of the previous board members, Andrea Hall-Leonard and Bob Holt, were reappointed. Monday, they were voted vice chair and chair, consecutively.

Holt told 10 On Your Side that the public has every reason to trust that board members are on top of things.

“They have confidence in us that we’ll get it worked out,” Holt said.

Josette Sthole-Hayes, a parent and S.P. Morton PTA President, corroborated that.

“The ones that are here… trust me, they’re gonna do a great job,” she said.

New board members told 10 On Your Side that carefully managing school finances is a top priority. During the meeting, Hall-Leonard raised repeated questions about the division’s bills.

The board also voted to meet at least twice a month. Previously, it was only scheduled to meet once.

“I was very impressed with the questions,” Sthole-Hayes said. “There are things that need to happen, we need answers to questions. And the board… they’re the ones to do it.”

Two seats remain vacant. Council plans to hold a public hearing to accept nominations in the new year.