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.