By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
“It has been a day,” said several school board members, other officials and townspeople as they gathered for Tuesday night’s school board meeting. School Superintendent Lou Miller opened the meeting with a prayer that “the Lord who is our refuge, our strength and our ever-present help in time of need” would show mercy on Madison County.
On that subdued note, county attorney Tommy Reeves then announced that Gov. Rick Scott, via Executive Order 11-215, had suspended Tina Johnson from her duties as a school board member, pending the outcome of election fraud charges filed against her. Reeves then added that neither the suspension nor the charges were indicative of guilt or innocence, which would be determined through the court system, but that the suspension had occurred because Johnson is charged with a felony. Scott has not appointed a replacement for Johnson, nor is he required to, Reeves told the board. It was not known at that time whether or not the governor would do so in the near future, so for the time being, the board would carry on with the remaining four board members.
Normal business resumed with Greenville Elementary principal Davis Barclay thanking various board members for their help in making the school’s fall festival a success, and presenting a short report on Greenville’s progress and proficiency in various subjects.
Also on that first November evening, the board recognized November as Parents Involved in Education Month, and Nov. 17 in particular as National Parental Involvement Day. That day, all parents are invited to come to their child’s school to see what goes on and learn ways they can help. Dr. Cheryl James and Linton Hart ofTitle I Parental Involvement, read a proclamation from Gov. Rick Scott dedicating the month of November to getting parents more involved in their children’s schools.
Near its conclusion, the board meeting included a grace note of good news regarding the Madison County High School Band; board member Bart Alford announced to everyone that Saturday, Oct. 29, the MCHS band had traveled to Tallahassee for their annual evaluation from the Florida Bandmaster’s Association at Gene Cox Stadium, and returned with a score of “superior.”
Octavious Tookes brought more good news of another event that same Saturday – the Anti-Bullying event at Lake Frances, a project the Safe Schools committee had planned and worked on for weeks. Tookes, who heads the committee, stated that the event was a success, well attended and well received by the community. Superintendent Miller agreed, adding, “We’re all proud of the way that turned out.”