by Danny Wade
A Humboldt School Board member has resigned. Lori Coleman submitted her letter of resignation to board members last week. Her final day as a board member will be August 31.
It was announced last Thursday night during the Humboldt School Board meeting by board chairman, Terry Johnson, who wished her well.
Coleman is moving to Haddonfield N.J. at the end of this month with her close friend, Bridget Roney. Roney’s family lives there. Coleman’s daughter, Rachel Shields, will be moving with Roney this week, where she will be attending Haddon Heights High School.
“After much thought and family deliberation we have decided to move out of the state,” Coleman wrote in her letter to the board. “This decision was not an easy one to make but after visiting the school and seeing everything that they have to offer Rachel, she made the decision that she wanted to move.”
Coleman’s oldest daughter, Katherine Shields, graduated from Humboldt High School last May and just moved to Knoxville where she will attend UT Knoxville.
“When I was elected, I wholeheartedly intended to fulfill my 4-year commitment,” Coleman said last week. “I love being a school board member. But things happen and opportunities arise. Sometimes you can’t pass up those opportunities.”
“We’re grateful for her service,” director of schools, Dr. Versie Hamlett said. “I look forward to working with whomever takes her place. I have confidence in the decision makers. We’ll work together to do what is best for our students.”
Coleman said she intends to contact Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes and will be making recommendations on people who she believes would make excellent school board members to fill her seat. It is the duty of the city to appoint an interim member to fill in until the next city election, which will be next year.
Last year the city board approved Wayne McLemore as interim when Lee Williams resigned and moved to Texas. McLemore served as interim for a few months until the next city election where he chose to run for the two remaining years of Williams’ term last year and won.
Coleman is in a similar situation and has accepted a job in Delaware, just a short drive from New Jersey. She noted the proximity of living so close to Philadelphia, New York City, the New Jersey beach and Washington D.C.
But the biggest reason for leaving is the opportunities offered at the school system Rachel will attend.
“Her new band director has 47 years experience, multiple national championship titles in the last few years and band starts in the 5th grade level,” Coleman noted. “Another option is AP classes. Rachel will have her choice of over 20 available AP classes these next two years. There will be 22 athletic opportunities and 45 activities/clubs for her to choose from at her new school. Leaving Humboldt is a really tough decision for me but ultimately it came down to what does my child want, and where will she excel and get the opportunities that she deserves.”
“I wish you as a board nothing but good luck in the future. Please, always remember that you were elected to take care of our students,” Coleman stated in her letter to the board. “It has been absolute honor and privilege to serve with each of you over these last eight months.”