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Millner plans to run again; Rogers won't
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Curtis Millner Sr., Iriswood District representative on the Henry County School Board, has announced he will seek a fourth term on the board in November, and Collinsville representative Kathy Rogers said Tuesday she will not seek a third term.

“I’m going to try one more time,” Millner said, adding that if elected, it would be his last term on the board.

Millner, 70, of Laurel Park, said his priorities if re-elected include working toward closing the academic achievement gap for minority students; working toward replacing John Redd Smith Elementary and Collinsville Primary with a combined school; and upgrading facilities at Stanleytown and Sanville elementary schools. “We all deserve good facilities to work in,” he said.

He also said he wants to see the development of the school division’s new teacher performance evaluation system and the New Tech school which the school division hopes to start in part of Magna Vista High School next fall.

In a New Tech school, students work in groups in large open spaces on projects that ecompass many areas of learning, according to the University of Indianapolis Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning website.

Millner pointed out he is the longest-serving member on the board. “It’s hard to beat experience,” he added. He served as chairman of the school board in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Among the board’s biggest successes during his tenure, he said, have been the hiring of the last two superintendents (Anthony Jackson and Jared Cotton) and giving employees raises all but the last few years, which has helped with recruitment and retention of employees. Also, more teachers are earning advanced degrees and National Board Certification, and all schools and the school division are accredited, he said.

Millner is a retired Army chief warrant officer 3 who served four tours of duty in Germany, two in Thailand and one in Vietnam, according to Bulletin article.

He said he served three years as commander of American Legion Post 79 and is assistant adjutant for the post. He is third vice commander for the American Legion 6th District Department of Virginia and works with such programs for children as Boys State, Virginia State Police Academy and the American Legion oratorical contest.

Millner is chairman of the board of the Fayette Area Historical Initiative. He is assistant Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher and Bible class teacher at Moral Hill Baptist Church. He has been treasurer eight years of the Smith River Missionary Baptist Association and is assistant treasurer for the Virginia State Baptist Deacon and Deaconess Auxiliary.

Millner is married to Virginia Millner and has a son, Curtis II; daughter, Veronica; and five grandchildren.

In a news release, Rogers cited personal reasons, including work and family obligations, for not seeking re-election. “It is with considerable thought and deliberation that I have come to the decision to not seek re-election to the school board,” she stated in the release.

“Being a member of the school board has been and continues to be one of the most rewarding positions I have held and I look forward to my remaining time on the board,” she stated. “By announcing my intention now, I hope there are those out there who care about public education and the futures of our children who will seek the seat.”

She said in an interview, “I will have served two terms on the board at the end of the year.” Board terms are four years.

She added there are a lot of talented people in the Collinsville District who could fulfill this role.

Among the accomplishments of the school board during her tenure, she said, have been “hiring two good, qualified superintendents. Even though Dr. Jackson didn’t stay long, he was an excellent superintendent. I think Dr. Cotton is great and will take the school division far during his tenure here.”

Rogers also said the school division is held up as an example in the state and nation for its innovative use of technology.

She said she is excited that the division hopes to begin a New Tech school at Magna Vista next fall.

“I’m proud of all the staff and teachers” in the school division, Rogers said.

As for challenges the school division has faced during her tenure, Rogers said, “Funding continues to be a challenge.” She said she feels Henry County has been generous to provide level funding to the school division the last couple years.

“The state is not fully funding education,” she added.

Another challenge is the school division’s capital needs, she said. One of her biggest regrets is that John Redd Smith Elementary and Collinsville Primary schools have not been replaced with a combined school. “It’s a big project,” and funds have not been available, she said.

However, she added that she was encouraged by a recent joint meeting between the school board and the county board of supervisors and that there seems to be a willingness for the two boards to work together to move that project along.

Rogers recently completed her fifth one-year term as chairman of the school board. She is executive director of Piedmont Arts and former executive director of United Way of Henry County and Martinsville.

The Blackberry District seat on the school board also is up for election this year, according to Henry County Registrar Elizabeth Stone.

Rudy Law, who holds that seat, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Stone said no one had yet filed for any of the school board seats, and the deadline to file is 7 p.m. June 11. Each candidate needs the signatures of at least 125 qualified voters in his or her district on petitions and must file papers including a declaration of candidacy, certificate of candidate qualification, statement of economic interest and others, Stone said. The forms are available at the registrar’s office in the County Administration Building, she said.


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