After 15 years at the helm, Chairwoman Judy Sims nominated Huffman on Tuesday to lead the board in 2013. The nomination was unanimously approved.
“I think Ms. Huffman has the administrative and public-speaking skills that will serve our board well in the coming years,” Sims said, adding later that “it’s customary to change officers from time to time.”
Member Faith Collins was elected to replace Vice Chairman Will Wood, who nominated Collins for the position.
The last board meeting of 2012 also drew a guest — Jeff Bearden, who will replace Gayland Cooper as superintendent in mid-January. Bearden said he wanted to sit in on a meeting and visit with some of the staff.
“That way I’m not a complete stranger when I start,” he said.
Meanwhile, Interim Superintendent Lucian Harris — who took over in December when Cooper retired — has started on his goal of eating lunch at each of the city schools during his brief tenure. He’s visited five already and will go to Main Elementary today.
Harris said revenue from the 2008 special purpose, local option sales tax continues to be below projections. Collections in October totaled $397,787, more than $100,000 less than anticipated.
The shortfall totals nearly $3.3 million since collection on the five-year SPLOST III began on April 1, 2009, but the school package is prioritized and not every project must be completed.
A boost could come through the state’s capital outlay program. The board approved a budget request through the Georgia Board of Education that Harris said would provide reimbursement of as much as $1,041,234 for construction of the new Anna K. Davie Elementary School.