Joyce Marie Taylor
At the Nov. 20 meeting of the Hamilton County School Board new Superintendent of Schools Thomas P. Moffses and re-elected board members Jeanie Daniels and Gary Godwin were sworn in by County Judge Sonny Scaff.
“Congratulations to everybody who is going to be sworn in tonight,” said Judge Scaff before the ceremonies began. “You have big things in front of you and I know you all can do the job.”
Two school board members, Jeanie L. Daniels and Gary Godwin were re-elected to serve another term. Daniels took the oath of office for another term representing District 3, followed by Gary Godwin, District 2.
The big event of the evening was when the new superintendent was sworn in. Two Democrats, incumbent Martha Butler and Spencer “Sarge” Lofton were on the ballot for the primary election on Aug. 14. Lofton beat Butler by a vote of 1,427 to 1,102, which placed Lofton on the Nov. 6 ballot against Republican Thomas Moffses.
Moffses, who relentlessly campaigned for the position of superintendent for many months prior to the Nov. 6 election, beat out opponent Lofton by a vote of 3,553 to 1,708 in the general election.
Judge Scaff made a slight faux pas during the ceremony when he said, “Thomas T. Moffses” instead of Thomas P. Moffses, but the new superintendent was unfazed. After the laughter in the audience died down, Judge Scaff simply started over reciting his name correctly the second time.
Following the swearing in ceremonies the board re-elected Damon Deas, District 1, as chairman and Gary Godwin, District 2, as vice chair.
The school board had a parting gift for Butler, but she wasn’t in attendance.
On behalf of the school board, Chairman Deas said, “We just want to thank her (Butler) for her service. A lot of times we didn’t agree with her, but she was always agreeable.”
Teacher’s Union President Jane Lowe was first on the agenda at the regular board meeting that followed and after congratulating Moffses, she said, “We look forward to working with you.”
Lowe then advised the board there was an employee grievance they had been working on and had hoped would be resolved before Moffses took office, but it wasn’t, so the task falls on Moffses and the school board to resolve. No other details about the grievance were given.
After a short agenda of items were discussed the meeting was adjourned and everything went smoothly for Moffses’ first day on the job as Hamilton County Superintendent of Schools.