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Farragut school committee miscues

Carol Littlejohn, left, Margaret Johns, center, and Heather Marshall await the arrival of fellow committee members.- Ashley Peterson/farragutpress
Hectic schedules and holiday issues were partly to blame for the town of Farragut’s newly formed Farragut/Knox County Schools Education Relations Committee to not have a quorum at its Wednesday, Dec. 2, meeting.

In only its third meeting since being formed, the Education Relations Committee’s agenda called for establishment of officers to serve in leadership roles over the committee’s intended business – a task that will now be postponed until 2010.

Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill expressed disappointment that the committee failed to meet a quorum.

McGill said the holidays could have something to do with why few attended.

“It’s going to depend on [the committee] to get things done, and if not, we’ll have to get others for the committee,” he added.

In his campaign for the office of Farragut Mayor, McGill said schools would be a priority under his leadership.

“I wanted the committee so they would help enrich the community. I want them to work with principals and show us what they need,” McGill said.

“I want people who are dedicated to contribute,” he added.

Two committee members, Carol Littlejohn and Margaret Johns, toured Farragut Primary School one hour prior to the official meeting held at Town Hall.

At Town Hall, Johns and Littlejohn were joined by fellow committee member, Heather Marshall.

Sue Stuhl, Town Parks and Leisure Services Director, was present to assist the committee in executing the agenda, standing in for Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer.

The primary agenda item for the meeting was to elect officers: chairman, vice-chairman and secretary.

There also was to be discussion of needs assessment for Knox County Schools in the Farragut area.

Stuhl informed the committee a quorum could not be met and the agenda could not be executed.

“This is a fluke. Everyone’s heart is in this. There was just too many things that came up at one time at the last minute,” Palmer said of the lack of attendance.

Palmer said the committee could have stayed and had a discussion, but without a quorum, decisions could not be made and officers could not be elected.

Those who did not attend the meeting were Thomas Deakins, Palmer, John Williams, Shannon Warden, Betty Clemens and Carla Lyle.

Absent members responded as to why they were not able to attend the meeting.

Work schedules and personal issues were some of the reasons given.

Some members informed the committee as a whole or Palmer personally they would be unable to attend.

“Everyone knows, because it’s posted on our Google group site, the meeting is the first Wednesday of the month,” Palmer said.

School principals and committee members are encouraged to post comments, school needs, questions and attendance issues on the site, Palmer said at a previous school committee meeting.

The Web address for the Google groups site is


For the December meeting, it was not until the day of the meeting that many committee members realized they could not attend. It was too late to reschedule, Palmer said.

In the two months the committee has been installed, no more than one member has missed the same school committee meeting.

All committee members are volunteers.

Palmer said he hopes to have January’s committee meeting at Farragut Primary School with principal Julia Craze Jan. 6, 2010.


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