Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Friday, November 8, 2013
School Board member suggests new chairman

Monroe County School Board Chairman Andy Griffiths said Thursday he will step down as the panel's chairman this month after having served one year.

Griffiths said he expects the board's Vice Chairman Ron Martin, who represents the Upper Keys, to get the nod from the five-man elected panel.

"I'm just ready to hand over the gavel," Griffiths said. "I've served as chair a number of times over the past 21 years, and now it's time to let somebody else give it a try."

Griffiths, the board's longest serving member, will continue on as the District 2 board member. His current term expires in 2016.

The School Board has two meetings scheduled this month. The first is set for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Rd, and Griffiths said he will serve as chairman one final time.

A new chair will be selected at the board's organizational meeting set for 5 p.m. Nov. 19 in Key West at the administration building, 241 Trumbo Rd. The board will first hold a workshop at 4 p.m. that day.

Martin, formerly a school teacher who later was principal of Coral Shores High School, said Thursday he wants the job. He has described himself as a "strong supporter" of Superintendent Mark Porter,

"I'm definitely interested in becoming chairman," said Martin, who lives in Tavernier. "Hopefully, I can bring some of my 40 years of experience as an educator to the job, and look out for the students and teachers. What's best for the kids has always been my mantra."

Each year the board has its organizational meeting, where the chair and vice chair are elected, and the board decides who is going to serve on committees such as the Value Adjustment Board.

The board also decides who will work as the liaison to the Florida School Board Association, which puts together a statewide legislative platform, and who will be its representative to the Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards.

"We also need to pick a representative who will represent us before the Small District Council, which deals with school boards with fewer than 25,000 students," Griffiths said.

Griffiths cited Martin's experience with the School District as readiness for the chairman position.

"Ron has been a part of the school system for over 30 years, and has experience now, being the vice chairman," Griffiths said.

"Plus, he's run a couple of meetings in my absence this year. I'm confident that he'll do a good job as chairman."

tschmida@keysnews.com

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