Update: Clarke County school board member abruptly resigns, issues statement


Dr. Frances Berry

By Joe Johnson

Dr. Frances Berry last week abruptly resigned from the Clarke County Board of Education after representing District 2 on the board for little more than nine months.

Berry’s resignation was announced in a statement released Sunday morning by the Clarke County School District.

The announcent stated that Berry on Friday tendered a letter of resignation that was effective immediately.

The statement did not give a reason for Berry’s sudden departure, but on Sunday night Berry released a brief statement of her own:

“I joined the Board hoping I could help make a difference but I learned this year that I am not cut out for the stress of politics, she said .”I resigned in order to focus on my health and my family.”

Berry’s resignation letter, obtained by Classic City News, reads as follows:

November 14, 2019

Honorable Brian Kemp

Governor, State of Georgia

206 Washington Street

111 State Capitol

Atlanta, GA 30334

Dr. LaKeisha Gantt

President, Board of Education

440-1 Dearing Extension

Athens, GA 30606

Dr. Demond Means

Superintendent, Clarke County School District

P.O. Box 1708

Athens, GA 30603

RE: Resignation from the Clarke County School District Board of Education

Dear Governor Kemp, Dr. Gantt, and Dr. Means:

I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position on the board of education for Clarke County School District due to personal reasons. I will relinquish my responsibilities and privileges as a board member effective immediately.

I greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve alongside my fellow board members in a cause we all believe in -- the education of every child.

Sincerely,

Frances Berry

CC: Honorable Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State; Honorable Richard Woods, Georgia State School Superintendent

Berry was appointed to the school board after District 2 representative Vernon Payne resigned for health reasons in January. Berry was sworn in as Payne’s replacement on March 7. Her term ends Dec. 31, 2020.

Qualified residents living in District 2 and desiring to fill Berry’s vacancy will be invited to apply, the school district said in its release. The district will be releasing the dates and requirements for the application process.

“The remaining members of the board shall appoint a qualified resident of the education district wherein the vacancy occurred to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term and until a successor is elected and qualified,” the district stated in its release.


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