12/13/05 — Grantham, Sims to lead school board next year

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Grantham, Sims to lead school board next year

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 13, 2005 1:48 PM

The Wayne County Board of Education has new leaders -- one of whom will have her first leadership role since 1992.

John P. Grantham moved up from the vice chairman role to succeed Lehman Smith as chairman.

And, for the first time since joining the Board of Education, Shirley Sims was chosen as its vice chairman.

In the annual reorganization of the board, Ms. Sims' name had previously been submitted several times as candidate for the vice chairman role. And each time, she has politely declined.

"I realize that I have been nominated several times, but I did not feel good about the climate," she said. She noted that each of the times fellow board member Thelma Smith nominated her, there had been another candidate put up against her. Ms. Sims said did not want the board to divide its votes.

On Monday night, she was nominated by board member Pete Gurley.

"I did feel comfortable this evening," Ms. Sims said. "You feel even better when you have a unanimous vote from your peers."

Lehman Smith was also recognized for his leadership on the board this past year and presented with a plaque that bore the gavel he used during his term of office.

Thelma Smith said Smith had done a wonderful job guiding the board and that she now looked forward to Grantham's leadership.

"And to my good friend, Miss Shirley," she said, "I'm so proud of you sitting in that seat."