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TCSS board bids farewell to Kirk Hancock

The Troup County School Board took a few minutes at Thursday night’s meeting to thank outgoing board chairman Kirk Hancock, who was attending his last board meeting as chair.

Hancock, who decided not to run for re-election, will be replaced by Ferrell Blair in January. By the end of a surprise ceremony in his honor, Hancock was in tears, thanking those around him for their support in his time on the board.

“He also carries a level of expertise in many different areas, from a parent standpoint, from a community member standpoint, from a legal standpoint, from a business standpoint — Kirk can check all those boxes,” said Superintendent Brian Shumate. “In my role as superintendent, I have learned a great deal from you Kirk, so I really appreciate it.”

Every board member spoke about Hancock’s passion for children and making sure they succeed, as well as his drive to keep the school system improving.

Board Member Cathy Hunt, who started on the board at the same time as Hancock, noted that Hancock oversaw a board that went through three superintendents, including a superintendent.

“He led this board that inherited budget deficits, tanking in achievement scores, under-budgeted gymnasiums, demands for tax breaks and now COVID-19,” Hunt said. “Yet, he has handled all of that so very well.”

Hancock was presented with a photo of the board, which was surrounded with well wishes from each board member.

When it came his time to speak, he got emotional.

“You make it very easy,” Hancock said. “… All I have to do is make sure we are headed the same direction. That’s been a real blessing … We in good hands and I have confidence in all of you as you move forward. I’m so proud of our four years and two years for new members. We did it for the kids and the community. Every one of us put kids, teachers and staff above ourselves … and that makes me very proud and very happy and confident in what we’re going to do going forward.”