City Council filled the city's vacant school board slot Thursday, appointing Julie Hummel to fill the seat opened by the resignation of Elise Emanuel who served 12 years on the board.
Hummel was the first, and for a while the only, candidate to emerge for the seat. Eventually, two others, Delores Bagby - a former teacher and administrator in the Richmond Public Schools and Linda Hertzler -a former drama teacher and the owner of a landscaping design business, expressed interest.
Emanuel endorsed Hummel.
City Council said at the time of last month's public hearing that it believed it had a wealth of good candidates. Mayor Clyde Haulman reiterated that in statement Thursday.
"From an exceptional pool of candidate, Ms. Hummel embodied experience with education, knowledge of the community and vision for our schools that make her an outstanding choice for our school board," he said. "Council and I look forward to working with her to ensure the best for all our community's children.
Hummel, a graduate of Lafayette High School, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Education from the College of William and Mary. She currently works at the college as the associate director of development and innovation at the Mason School of Business. She's a past president of the Matthew Whaley Elementary School PTA, served on the school board's task force for redistricting and worked as a substitute teacher at Berkeley Middle School and Matoaka Elementary School.
"Our school system does a lot things really well, but we should always be in a mode of continuous improvement," Hummel said. "I am not seeking this position for any particular issue or viewpoint. I am interested in how we can deliver the best school system for our students within the framework of state and federal mandates and our budget."
Hummel joins Kyra Cook as the city's two representative on the seven-member WJCC School Board.
Council also re-appointed two members of the Planning Commission, David Julien and current chairman Demetrios Florakis to new four-year terms.
Florakis is under indictment on charges of grand larceny, a case with goes to trial Jan. 4.
Read more in Saturday's Gazette.
Vaughan can be reached at (757)345-2343.
Five speakers, including her husband and brother, spoke in favor of Linda Hertzler, a former drama teacher and the owner of landscaping design and construction company. She's volunteered often in the WJCC Schools, they said.
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