County-elected chair, 2 members sworn in at school board meeting
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
January 19, 2013 01:33 AM | 3774 views | 8 8 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Newly elected Cherokee County Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Read, who has served on the school board for the last eight years, is sworn into office by Probate Judge Keith Wood during Thursday's board meeting. Read is the first chair to be elected countywide.<br>Staff/Todd Hull
Newly elected Cherokee County Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Read, who has served on the school board for the last eight years, is sworn into office by Probate Judge Keith Wood during Thursday's board meeting. Read is the first chair to be elected countywide.
Staff/Todd Hull
slideshow
Wood also swore in new member Kelly Marlow, above, who was accompanied by her husband, Mark, and two children, Eric, 10, and Morgan, 10, during the swearing-in ceremony.<br>Staff/Todd Hull
Wood also swore in new member Kelly Marlow, above, who was accompanied by her husband, Mark, and two children, Eric, 10, and Morgan, 10, during the swearing-in ceremony.
Staff/Todd Hull
slideshow
Patsy Jordan, above, was also sworn in Thursday, and had her sister, Shelley Cantrell, by her side.<br>Staff/Todd Hull
Patsy Jordan, above, was also sworn in Thursday, and had her sister, Shelley Cantrell, by her side.
Staff/Todd Hull
slideshow
CANTON — To kick off the new year, two new school board members and one familiar face were sworn in during Cherokee County Board of Education’s Thursday night meeting.

Patsy Jordan, elected to represent Post 2 after defeating incumbent Kim Cochran in July, and Kelly Marlow, winner of the newly drawn Post 1 seat, both took time to thank their supporters for helping them get elected.

Also, eight-year school board veteran Janet Read took on her role as the county’s first countywide-elected school board chairwoman. The board vote to determine the vice chair was tabled, as board member Rob Usher was absent.

Read thanked her youngest son, Etowah High School senior Lucas Read, for standing alongside her during her swearing-in.

“His brother (Drew Read) is at the University of Georgia working a basketball game, but thank you Lucas for coming up here on the stage with Mom,” she said.

Marlow also expressed her gratitude for her family and friends who came to watch her be sworn in, where she was accompanied by her husband Mark and 10-year-old twins Eric and Morgan, who both wore their Cherokee Charter Academy uniforms.

“It is very clear to me after what happened this summer, the election that nobody that sits up here gets here by themselves” she said. “I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank you, and it would take way too long to call them by name but you know who you are.”

Marlow said she looks forward to her journey on the school board. She took time to note she hopes to make amends after a sharply-divided July primary election against Kyla Cromer, Cherokee County Council of PTAs advocacy chair, pitted Cherokee Charter Academy advocates against those favoring the school district.

“I know there are fences to be mended and I hope to be one of those fence-menders if you’ll allow me to,” Marlow said.

Jordan, a retired school teacher, said she is very humbled and feels honored to serve on the board. She thanked all of the voters, her family and friends, including her sister, Shelley Cantrell, who stood by her for her swearing-in.

“I’m just so humbled and I just appreciate this opportunity,” Jordan said as she fought back tears. “I retired two years ago as a teacher and I know exactly what the teachers do… I know how hard it is and I know how exhausted they are when they come home every day. But, it’s a job that we love and have passion for, and that’s why we keep doing it.”

Jordan said she will work in her role to do whatever is possible to help students.

“I was in the classroom for the kids and I always will continue to be (here) for the kids,” she said.

Read hopes to start her new role on a more positive note in regard to relations with the local delegation, adding that she and Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Hickory Flat) have decided to have a joint meeting between the two bodies Jan. 31. A time and location has not yet been set for the meeting.

“(We hope to) have some meaningful conversations about public education and how we can work cooperatively to improve things,” Read said.

In other business, the board voted 4-2 with Marlow and Geist dissenting, to add an agenda item to approve the relocation of local government investment pool funds from Cherokee Bank to Wells Fargo; however, the motion passed 6-0.

Read moved to add the item to the agenda, but Marlow asked for clarification on the vote and whether it followed Robert’s Rules of Order to vote on an agenda item after the agenda was already passed. Petruzielo and board attorney Tom Roach confirmed this was appropriate.

Additionally, the board approved a new partnership agreement with Oak Leaf Church that will provide a $1,000 scholarship each year to a graduating Cherokee High School senior.

Pastor Will Goodwin said church members are honored to have the opportunity to support the school.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership and believe we will make the school district proud,” Goodwin said.
Comments
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not impressed
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January 21, 2013
I agree with the comments about Ms. Marlow having her chidlren show up in their charter school uniforms, that is not promoting unity in my mind. I do think that the item Mr. Roach was trying to add to the agenda should have been handled differently. However, Ms. Marlow's rude interruptions of both Mr. Roach and Dr. P show her total lack of respect and professionalism. She needs a lesson in decorum. I'd like to know to whom in the audience she kept making faces? Was she on her phone or ipad getting messages? I have a feeling that she has an agenda that does not keep what is best for all of Cherokee County in mind. Not impressed!
Mitchell Black
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February 11, 2013
Of course, you are not impressed. There is someone on the board who actually cares about the welfare of our children. Dang! The world is coming to an end.
Acme Fence Co.
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January 21, 2013
Mrs. Marlow wants to be a fence-mender? With what, razor wire? Having your children attend your swearing-in ceremony wearing their charter school uniforms is not the action of a fence-mender. It's the same Kelly! who told the AJC last year, "They wouldn't give me my charter school so I'm not giving them their SPLOST." Marlow never mentioned on her website or in campaign literature that she was a charter school parent, NOT a Cherokee County Schools parent, or she never would have been elected. Watch what happens to Mr. Geist in 18 months.
The lazy reporter
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January 20, 2013
What Ms. Thorton doesn't tell you is that Mr. Roach showed he was utterly unprepared. The agenda item mentioned shifts millions of dollars with no paper work, no explanation just a wink and a nod from Frank to Tom and then complete mismanagement of Robert's rules by the chair. If Ms. Thorton were more then a reporter and tried to actually be a journalist there could be a few real stories out of that exchange. Perhaps the grand jury needs to look at this as well.
Nonsensical
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January 21, 2013
Ms. Thornton reported what happened that evening quite well. I think she spoke very kindly about Marlow's rude and clearly inept tantrum. The board agenda is set six school weeks prior to the meeting. As we are now in a new calendar year, it is a surety that Cherokee Bank sent notification then. Thus, a last minute housekeeping measure had to be handled. That is precisely what Mr. Roach and Dr. Petruzielo were trying to handle, all within the parlance of Robert's Rules.

As a sidebar, it is interesting that the accusation of lazy reporting is made by someone who misspelled the name of the reporter twice and is improperly spacing.
Comical
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January 22, 2013
The board's agenda had been approved and voted upon an hour earlier. To sneak something in after that reeks of incompetence and illegality and could get the district in SACS trouble. Marlow was right to call out these under-the-table shenanigans. How much is the district paying attorney Roach to be completely unprepared for a meeting that had probably been on the calendar for a month?

It's not surprising to see the same old charter-school haters here embrace such complete incompetence. They're still stinging from their landslide loss to Amendment 1 in November! And it looks like the charter school got approved, so they've completely, totally lost that fight.

Chairman Read needs to read up on the rules of meeting management. She's laughably out of her league and appeared to be completely clueless.

Acme Fence Co.
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January 23, 2013
Comical: Janet Read won with a very comparable vote margin to your "landslide" (and I suspect you've seen worse beatings). I have no problem with the charter school, but I do have a problem with someone talking out of both sides of her mouth. The charter school will do just fine, but they need a decent board that follows the law and can stand up to the management company. Under the table shenanigans? Oh, like discussing a multi-million dollar contract with a management company totally behind closed doors and with NO public input or discussion?
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