Superintendent Dr. Bernard Bragen, Jr. began the Montgomery County School Board meeting as they reorganized leadership positions amongst the board members, including the roles of chair and vice chair.
Linwood Hudson was nominated by Laura Purcell for Montgomery County School Board Chair at the regular meeting on Jan. 9, 2024. Five members voted in favor of Hudson’s nomination, with Dana Partin and Jamie Bond voting in opposition.
“I feel strongly that we need representation from members of all parts of the county and we haven’t seen that in the last number of years and in fact, only twice since I’ve been on the Board for a long time, and I think our County deserves that,” said Bond.
Bond said she hoped to see the introduction of a rotating system of the Chair position of the Board, and she would vote no on this particular nomination.
Dana Partin also shared comments on the reason for her decision to vote no on the election of Hudson as chair.
“I think you will do a fine job if you’re elected, but at the present time, I feel like when we have other more substantially experienced people that were interested in the chair that my vote is going to have to be no, but I will support you if you are elected by the majority,” Partin said.
Edward Gitre addressed Hudson and the Board as well during the discussion and before the final vote.
“I’ve seen you act respectfully toward your colleagues and try to find compromise on positions where there was division among Board members,” Gitre said. “I think you will make an excellent chair.”
Hudson accepted the chair’s seat at the meeting and discussed the difficult changes that have been made with the school board recently.
“You know it’s a different board now. Obviously, we’ve got some new members here,” Hudson said. “We know how to get things done and work together and work in the community and I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as chair of this board moving forward, so thank you.”
Hudson led the members in the nomination of the vice chair. Gitre nominated Jamie Bond for the position, with all seven members voting to name Bond as the new vice chair.
“I think Jamie’s done a phenomenal job in her 20-plus years on the board. She certainly was a lifesaver for me when I started because I knew nothing and she and Mrs. Franklin both and Gunin Kiran and several others were so good to me that have been on the board,” Partin said.
The roles of clerk and deputy clerk were also addressed by the school board during the meeting. Since the position of clerk has not been filled though, the Board moved on to appointment of deputy clerk. Tosh Osborne was appointed for a term of one year to the position with a unanimous vote of the board members.
Committee appointments were also an agenda item of the school board meeting.
Positions discussed during the meeting, in which volunteers came forward and were appointed, were Blacksburg Liaison (Purcell and Gitre) and Christiansburg Liaisons (Bond and Partin), Board of Supervisors Liaisons (Hudson and Bond), Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) Voting Delegate (Partin) and VSBA Alternate (Derek Roundtree), Southwest Virginia Governors School (Hudson), and the Montgomery County Educational Foundation (Purcell and Roundtree), with all positions being filled.