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Bryant fills two vacancies on state school board

 

Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

 

JACKSON -- Gov. Phil Bryant has named Johnny Franklin of Bolton and Danny Spreitler of Amory to fill unexpired terms of Mississippi's state Board of Education. 

 

Franklin, 69, a former education adviser to Bryant and Gov. Haley Barbour, will fill the unexpired term of banker Hal Gage of Vicksburg representing the state's central Supreme Court district. That term runs through June 30, 2016. 

 

Spreitler, 53, is the executive director of the Gilmore Foundation, a charity which has focused on expanding access to and improving instruction in prekindergarten classes in Monroe County. He will serve the remainder of the term of Simon Weir of Hernando, who recently resigned, representing the state's northern Supreme Court district. That term runs through June 30, 2021. 

 

Both men will take their seats immediately but must be confirmed by the state Senate. 

 

A full term for each of the nine members of the board is nine years. Five are appointed by the governor, including a teacher and school administrator. Two each are appointed by the lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. 

 

The board oversees statewide education policy, the state Department of Education, and hires the state superintendent. 

 

Franklin will also remain as one of the five members of the state's Charter School Authorizer Board, which oversees charter school operations. Bryant spokeswoman Nicole Webb said there's "no legal reason" to bar Franklin from serving on both boards. 

 

"The governor believes that collaboration between the State Board of Education and the charter school board is important," Webb wrote in an email. 

 

She said both Franklin and Spreitler will also remain on the state early childhood advisory council, which advises the Department of Human Services on coordinating education and child welfare efforts for children under age 5. 

 

Franklin was a teacher, principal and administrator in Warren County and administrator in Clinton before becoming the first director of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus. From 1998-2001, he directed the Center for Educational Analysis for the Public Education Forum of Mississippi, a group sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council. From 2003 to 2006, he was principal of New Summit School. 

 

Spreitler is a Navy veteran and was CEO of Gilmore Memorial Hospital in Amory before becoming head of the Gilmore Foundation. He said that he wants to listen to school superintendents and others as the state sets policy, emphasizing the importance of tracking data to see whether efforts are working. 

 

"When we make policy, we need to follow up and see what the impact is," Spreitler said.

 

 

 

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