By Louie Graves
The third meeting of the Mineral Springs School Board, last week, signaled a lingering split in the board’s previous unity.
On Monday night the board voted 4-3 to suspend Supt. Thelma Forte with pay for the remainder of her contract. Voting against the motion were board members Sheila Jackson, and veteran board members William Dixon and Dorothy Vaughn. Voting for the suspension were Jaimie Jackson, Ray Hawkins, Kay Thornton and board president Mike Erwin.
On Tuesday night, the board voted 4-2 to hire former Supt. Curtis Turner, Jr., as an interim replacement. That meeting drew a crowd of about 25 who appeared to be in support of Forte. The votes against the motion to hire Turner were by Dixon and Vaughn. Sheila Jackson was not present.
On Wednesday night, the board met to replace Forte’s signature with Turner’s on credit cards, the school lockbox and bank transactions. The vote was 4-0. Dixon, Vaughn and Sheila Jackson did not attend the meeting.
Following the Tuesday night meeting, Dixon told the ‘News-Leader’ reporter that “She (Forte) has done nothing wrong. There are some board members that just don’t like her.”
At the Tuesday night meeting, the board also voted to hire Jacob Warford as basketball coach and assistant football coach, and Shane Wilson as math teacher. Those votes were also 4-2 with the Forte supporters in opposition.