HENRY COUNTY, VA – The Henry County School Board has a new chair and vice chair.
Teddy Martin II, of the Reed Creek district, was elected chairman and Ben Gravely, of the Iriswood district, was elected Vice Chairman during the board’s 2023 Organizational Meeting on Thursday.
Martin was selected to fill the unexpired term of Betsy Mattox upon her passing in 2017 and was later elected in 2019.
“I feel our biggest responsibility as board members is to work toward ensuring that our students, staff, and families have the resources they need to succeed. While we have made great strides in spite of unprecedented challenges, I hope that we will be able to work with our partners at all levels in order to make our division the best it can be,” Martin told BTW21 News.
He currently serves as Co-Chair of the VSBA Task Force on Workforce Readiness.
He previously served as Chair of the Blue Ridge Region and President of the association.
Martin is the Human Resources Director of the GENEDGE Alliance in Martinsville.
He is a graduate of Patrick & Henry Community College, Old Dominion University, and Western Governors University.
“I feel we have a strong board that works well together. I'd like to see us engage productively in discussions to address seeking innovative solutions to needs in our communities, in many cases statewide and nationally as well, such as Vice Chair Gravely noting mental health resource services or bus driver shortages,” Martin said.
Gravely was elected to the Iriswood seat upon the retirement of Curtis Millner.
“I have always been an advocate for what’s right for our students. I remain steadfast in that same goal, which is achieved by making sure we provide the necessary resources to make our division one of the best in the state. I am going to continue to bring my experiences and understandings gained during my time as a teacher and administrator in HCPS to the Board — what I set out to do when I first decided to run for the seat — and to my new position,” Gravely stated.
He is an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and presently serves as the President of the Rob Lee Community Park, Inc.
He served Henry County Public Schools as a teacher, coach, Director of the Regional Alternative School, Assistant Principal and Principal.
Gravely retired from the school division after 34 years of service.
He is a graduate of Norfolk State University and Radford University.
“I think we have a Board that’s willing to collaborate and compromise on issues that are in the best interest of all our stakeholders. However, I would like to see us adopt norms or a self-assessment tool to promote more dialogue by ensuring members are free to speak their minds without the fear of being ostracized or reluctantly to have meaningful conversations about issues/division concerns. Ultimately, my position is to support our Chair and the mission of HPCS,” Gravely added.
Student School Board members Bassett High School senior Hunter Goad and Magna Vista High School junior Lakyn Cochran were selected via a nomination and interview process and were in attendance.
Hunter will serve through the summer following his graduation and Lakyn will serve through next school year and the summer following her graduation.