Because school board policy prohibits speakers from making remarks directly to a board member, all three people who commented at the meeting spoke indirectly about board member Kelly Marlow.
One of the speakers during the public comment portion of the meeting was a student from Woodstock High School, Taylor Poole, who walked to the lecturn with eight other students.
“There’s so much negative drama surrounding these events that one might think CCSD is part of a never-ending soap opera,” Poole said. “There comes a time when enough is enough. We the students are taking a stand … For what I hope will be the last time, we ask for resignation. Hear our voices.”
Poole had asked for Marlow’s resignation previously, and on multiple occasions, and asked her to do the right thing for students by resigning.
Jennifer Hall of Woodstock, who said she was a teacher at E.T. Booth Middle School and has a child at Etowah High School, called for Marlow to suspend herself from her role on the school board, citing the board member’s recent indictment.
Marlow, along with her political adviser Robert Trim and Cherokee GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles, was indicted on charges of making false statements in a June incident, according to the indictment filed with the Cherokee County Clerk of Court’s Office on Tuesday.
“Gov. Deal received the indictment of four felony counts of one of our school board members this week,” Hall said. “Short of resigning, this board member can do the right thing for everyone in Cherokee County … by suspending herself through the outcome of her trial. This will show the parents, teachers, students and other interested community members that she is willing to put the best interest of the students first, which is something that we have not yet seen during her time in office.”
Gov. Nathan Deal’s office spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday the office received the indictment from Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace. From the time that the governor’s office received the indictment, Marlow has 14 days to suspend herself, before Deal forms a panel to look into her suspension.
Carol Taylor, of Woodstock said she has two children at Hickory Flat Elementary School and asked Marlow to “do the right thing” and resign.
“It is with great sadness that I stand before you,” Taylor said. “I’m here to say we will not stand for this and we will do everything to protect the great gift of an outstanding education that this school district provides our children. In light of the recent indictment of this one school board member I am able to keep my remarks quite short … I implore this board member to finally, and for the first time, do the right thing for the community at large, for the constituents she supposedly serves, but mostly for the 39,000 children I’ve yet to see her serve. I ask for her resignation.”
Also at the meeting and work session prior to the meeting:
• The board reviewed the 2014 Legislative Program;
• The board reviewed the draft of the Five-Year Strategic Plan;
• Heard update on school boundaries and none will change;
• Recognized Dr. John Poidevant for being the 2013 School Psychologist of the Year, named by the Georgia Association of School Psychologists;
• Recognized Eliot Galyean of Mill Creek Middle School as the state’s middle school Physical Education Teacher of the Year;
• Recognized high school seniors who were named 2014 National Merit and National Achievement semi-finalists;
• Recognized Etowah High School student Amarath-Madav for being appointed to the State Superintendent’s 2013-14 Student Advisory Council;
• Recognized administrators and teachers from 19 CCSD schools named to the Governor’s Student Health and Physical Education Honor Roll;
• Approved a proclamation in honor of Retired Educators Day, Nov. 3, as requested by Board Chair Janet Read;
• Approved a new partnership with the Cherokee Retired Educators Association;
• Approved monthly financial report and sales tax update; and
• Approved the surplus and sale of custodial equipment to the custodial services contractor, Aramark Management Services, for $241,055.