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Governor Perdue Swears-In New State Board of Education Members

Thursday, February 13, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today delivered the oath of office to five new members of the State Board of Education (Board). The Board is comprised of 13 members, each member from one of the state's congressional districts.

"I am honored to swear in these five Georgians who are dedicated to the educational excellence of Georgia's students," said Governor Perdue. "Education is a top priority for my administration. I am confident that the appointment of these members will facilitate a balanced Board of members who represent diverse perspectives and leadership experiences. I look forward to working with the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent to strengthen education and improve our children's future."

The following five individuals were sworn-in by Governor Perdue to serve on the State Board of Education:

Wanda Barrs, Cochran, GA, 3rd District - Barrs is a former chairman of the Bleckley County School Board and a former middle school and high school teacher. She is active in the Georgia Forestry Commission Foundation and Project Learning Tree, bringing environmental education to our schools. In 1996, Barrs was selected the Project Learning Tree National Educator of the Year. She is also a member of the 1996 class of Leadership Georgia. Barrs has been tapped to serve as the Board's chair.

Garland Pinholster, Ph.D., Woodstock, GA, 7th District - Pinholster is a former leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, first elected in 1990. His professional experiences also include teacher, basketball coach, Army Lieutenant, tennis professional, Dean of Administration, and business owner. He is a member of the Georgia State University, Oglethorpe University, and Valdosta/Lowndes County Athletic Halls of Fame.

Mary Sue Murray, Ph.D., Douglasville, GA, 8th District - Murray has over thirty years of diversified leadership, administrative, and teaching experience in public schools systems and in both public and private institutions of higher learning. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Georgia State University.

Patricia Biggerstaff, Lincolnton, GA, 9th District - Biggerstaff has thirty years of experience in education as a teacher, education consultant and administrator. For the last 5 years, she has served as the Assistant Principal in charge of instruction at J.A. Maxwell Elementary School in Thomson. Under her leadership, J.A. Maxwell Elementary went from an underperforming rural school into a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

Jim Franklin, 10th District, Plainville, GA - Franklin, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War and awarded the Silver Star, spent 28 years in the U.S. Army retiring with the rank of Colonel. He is co-owner of Walraven and Franklin Development Incorporated and serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors for Georgia Bank and Trust, Calhoun.