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Manning honored by school board

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Martinsville School Board Chairman Bill Manning received compliments and a gift from his fellow board members at his final school board meeting Monday night.

City schools Superintendent Pam Heath expressed her gratitude to Manning for his nine years of service to the board.

“I can’t express to the public enough how many hours school board members put in,” Heath

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said. “Most school boards do get paid; our school board does not get paid anything. It is all volunteer, and they give selflessly... . When you’re the chairman, you get to give a little bit more, a little extra.

“Our school division is a better place for you having been here and our students are better off for you having been here. You have been an invaluable resource to me personally, and I just want to publicly thank you for all that you have done. We’re going to miss you,” Heath added.

Board member Carolyn McGraw agreed.

“Anything that comes up that maybe we need to discuss privately together, Bill calls immediately and he’s willing to listen to how I feel, whether it’s necessarily how he feels or not. We both agree that we will listen to the other, and that means so much to a board member. He’s very dear to my heart, and he’s been an excellent leader,” she said.

Board member the Rev. James Richardson Jr. said he also appreciated Manning’s leadership, level-headedness, inclusiveness and “his willingness to accept disagreements ... not that we’ve had any,” he joked.

Vice Chairman Robert Williams said Manning’s “attitude in conducting meetings and dealing with all members of the board has been very, very important, and I think it has spoken well for what he’s done and the leadership he’s given to the board.”

Manning said that his time on the board has been a pleasure, and also a humbling experience.

“We do get paid,” Manning said. “We’re rewarded by the work that all you (teachers) do, and I encourage you to keep up the good work. My children came through this system and they got an excellent education. They were able to get advanced degrees, and I have to give credit to the Martinsville city school teachers.”

Manning also thanked the board, describing it as one of the best, if not the best, he has worked with.

“We don’t always agree, but we disagree agreeably and we move on,” he said.

The board presented Manning, an avid golfer, with a new Ping golf bag as a parting gift.

“The money probably would have been better spent with lessons,” Manning joked, provoking laughter from the audience.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a number of updated school board policies. It also scheduled its next meeting for Aug. 12.

After a closed session, the board approved the resignations of two teachers, Tamara Spencer and Shanda Prillaman.

The board also approved the following coaching appointments:

• Will Freeland: head coach, varsity boys baseball; head coach, varsity golf.

• Shauna Hines: head coach, varsity flag team.

• Matthew Rowe: assistant coach, varsity boys soccer.

• Jessica Anderson: assistant coach, varsity girls softball; head coach, junior varsity volleyball.

• Thomas Golding: mentoring varsity football coaching, coordination with head coach.

• Ellis Hairston Jr.: head coach, middle school football.

• Robert Divers: assistant coach, junior varsity football.


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