School Board to choose leaders

Published 10:07 pm Friday, January 3, 2020

The Suffolk School Board will choose its chair and vice chair during an organizational meeting Thursday.

Currently, Phyllis Byrum serves as chairwoman, with Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck as the vice-chairwoman.

The seats of Byrum, who represents the Whaleyville Borough, and Brooks-Buck, who represents the Nansemond Borough, are both up for election in November with their terms set to expire at the end of the year. The Sleepy Hole Borough seat on the board represented by David Mitnick will also be up for election.

Email newsletter signup

The board is also expected to set its salary for the 2020 calendar year of $10,000, with an additional $1,400 to the chairperson. That would stay unchanged from what was adopted a year ago.

As part of the organizational meeting, the board will also set its committee appointments for the following boards:

  • ACCESS College Foundation Board of Directors
  • City Council Liaison Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Governor’s School for the Arts
  • Local Special Education Advisory Committee
  • Pupil Personnel Committee
  • School Board Policy Subcommittee
  • SECEP Board Member
  • Suffolk Education Foundation
  • Virginia School Board Association
  • WHRO/HRETA Educational Advisory Board

The board will also set its meeting schedule for the 2020 calendar year and the superintendent’s designees will be chosen to appear at meetings in the absence of Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III.

The organizational meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall in the City Council chambers. Following that, the board will open its public meeting, go into a closed session and then resume its meeting at 7 p.m.

Among the items on the agenda for the public meeting will be the proposed calendar for the next school year. The board, following a survey showing overwhelming support for a post-Labor Day start to the school year, opted against starting the school year prior to Labor Day.

Under the proposed calendar, the first day of the 2020-2021 school year would be Sept. 8, with the last day of school June 18.

The draft agendas for both the organizational and public meetings are online at