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New Face of School Board

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

July 6, 2006

It was a night of firsts for the Charlottesville School Board.

After months of anticipation and talk about their arrivals, the new superintendent and two new school board members took part in Thursday night's school board meeting. They are all now officially on the job.

New school board member Leah Puryear arrived for her first meeting Thursday night. Another new member, Juan Wade, also got the first meeting under his belt. Rosa Atkins took her seat as the new superintendent.

"Mrs. Rosa Atkins, I think we are all quite pleased to have her here," announced former chair, Julie Gronlund.

The two new board members are also the first of their kind. Both of them are the first ever elected to the district.

They said they were happy to finally getting to work.

"I think it feels good because we're kind of on our way," said Juan Wade after the meeting. "Up to this point it's been congratulations, we're looking forward to working with you, and at this point we're on our way."

"I'm extremely happy to be working with Mrs. Atkins," said Leah Puryear. "She has a lot of energy, and she wants us to be energetic with her, and we're ready to do that."

There were also changes for existing members. Dr. Alvin Edwards was named the new chair person. He replaced Gronlund. Peggy Van Yeheres filled the spot of vice-chair.

Puryear said she welcomed the shifting roles.

"I think that's a good thing," said Puryear." I think if we're going to move forward and we're going to do new things, then we need new energy."

It's energy that will be focused on improving the school district, and benefiting its students.

The meeting was a brief one. The school board approved "No Child Left Behind" funding, and also discussed the district's disciplinary handbook.

Mrs. Atkins was appointed earlier this year. Puryear and Wade won their seats in this spring's elections.


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