By David Carroll
DALTON, GA (WRCB)- The makeup of the Whitfield County School Board and central office will be decidedly different for the next school year. The Katie Brochu era has ended. School employees will begin the year with a new boss, and a new School Board.
Brochu, the former superintendent, left office last month for a similar position in South Carolina. Critics had complained that she had total control of the School Board, culminating in a controversial decision to remove popular principal Carolyn Towns from Northwest Whitfield High School. Board members gave Brochu their almost total support on the move, as they had most of her programs and decisions.
Following Brochu's exit, all three Board members who were up for re-election decided not to run. District 2 Board member Tim Trew's name remained on the ballot, but he withdrew from the race several weeks ago. In District 4, where incumbent Jerry Nealy did not seek another term, Louis Fordham ran unopposed. And the At Large seat was vacated by John Thomas.
Tuesday's election results show an incredibly tight race for the District 2 seat, with a recount all but certain. With all precincts reporting, Jessica Swinford led Rodney Lock by only 8 votes, 1725 to 1717. While it might seem for sure that Swinford and Lock are headed for an August 10 runoff, the 3rd place finisher, Bill Moore is only 17 votes behind Lock, at 1700.
In the At Large race for School Board, Bill Worley finished a strong first, but not enough to avoid a runoff. Worley has 2002 votes to 1490 for Tony Stanley. In third place was Jarrod Cline with 1231 votes.
In another contested Whitfield County race, Robby Staten defeated incumbent Randy Waskul by a decisive margin, 4515 to 2455.