The Chattooga Board of Education will hold a called meeting coming up this evening. In addition to an agenda that was released last week, the board will take up the replacement of Dr. Julia Houston after Houston abruptly resigned last week.
Houston was one of three Republicans that swept three long-serving Democrats out of office in the 2016 Election. Shortly after that election, the lone-Democrat on the board John Turner, resigned his position. The Board then voted to replace Turner with Democrat Eddie Elsberry. Dr. Houston put forth an alternate candidate, but failed to get a second to her motion. Then, in January of 2020, Elsberry was elected chairman of the Board of Education in a 4-1 vote with Dr. Julia Houston opposing.
In September of last year, Board Member Sammy Ballard of Menlo passed away. The board voted in January of this year to replace Mr. Ballard with Lyn Hall, a former Menlo School Principal and Young Farmer educator. Dr. Houston opposed the appointment of Hall to the seat, but the motion carried with Chairman Elsberry, Vice-Chairman Brad Hayes and newly-elected Board Member B.J. Montgomery in favor of the appointment.
Since that time, Dr. Houston has consistently voiced her opposition to a new school for Menlo students. Earlier this year, when the other board members toured the county’s schools, Dr. Houston was noticeably absent. The final straw for Houston seems to have been when the Board of Education voted 4-1 to go forward with plans for a new school in Menlo.
Houston has not publicly commented on her decision to quit her position on the Board of Education.