Randolph board appoints new chairman - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Randolph board appoints new chairman

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

CUTHBERT,  GA (WALB) - The embattled Randolph County school board is officially under new leadership.

The board met for the first time since a judge ordered the first superintendent to stay off school property. The first order of business today was to replace board chairman and change policies.

After months of hearings, Judge Kevin Chason removed himself from anything else to do with the legal wranglings of the Randolph County school board. He said he doesn't have anymore time to devote to the case. The fighting may not be over, there was some resolution and relief at Wednesday's meeting.

In a special called meeting of the Randolph county school board, about a dozen concerned citizens were introduced to their new school superintendent.

"I'm doing this professionally, ethically, and this is what I feel is right for the students in Randolph county," said new superintendent Dianne Watkins.

Then, the board appointed James Mock their new chairman, and Don Smith vice chairman. Former chairman Henry Cook was no where in sight.

"Ms. Watkins called him and asked him to attend the meeting, he refused," said board member Dymple McDonald.

The board then passed a resolution to gain control of all the system's finances, something they were never granted under former leadership.

"Paying people, handling the bills, where are the credit cards," said Attorney Tommy Coleman.

They also voted in favor of drafting a new policy manual, adopted a code of ethics, and agreed on making arrangements to get immediate training Superintendent Watkins.

"We are very happy, happy with Ms. Watkins, looking forward to moving forward," said McDonald.

Something Watkins says will happen immediately. In fact she doesn't understand why it didn't happen sooner.

"I really can't see why anybody would keep trying to sue, over what? It's ridiculous. It's just something to stay in the news. You would think this would have been over by now," said Watkins.

Board members were just thankful they got the chance to have a board meeting IN the board room, for the first time in several months.

Randolph county students are on fall break this week.  Superintendent Watkins says on Monday she plans on going in the schools and talking with students, faculty, and staff members on her plans for how to turn the school system around.

Bobby Jenkins lawyer, Maurice King, has filed yet another lawsuit for damages against the Randolph County school board members and this time included the whole school system as a party.


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