School Board Meeting Dates (second Thursday of each month, unless modified by board vote):
- July 1, 2013 (rescheduled)
- August 8, 2013
- September 12, 2013
- October 10, 2013
- November 14, 2013
- December 12, 2013
- January 9, 2014
- February 13, 2014
- March 13, 2014
- April 10, 2014
- May 8, 2014
- June 12, 2014
Typically, the public meeting begins at 7 p.m. held in City Council Chambers, located on the second floor of the Municipal Building at 441 Market St.
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Need the School Board’s most recent Policies and Regulations? Link here.
Interested in viewing School Board meeting agendas? Link here.
Want to watch videos of recent School Board meetings? Link here.
Dr. Michael J. Debranski, Chair
1015 Maryland Avenue
Suffolk, VA 23434
July 1, 2006 – December 31, 2014
Michael Debranski, Ed.D., was elected to the School Board in 2006 to represent the Suffolk Borough. Debranski retired from a 34-year career in public school education, where he served as a teacher, coach, athletic director, department chair, assistant principal and principal. Most of those years were dedicated to Suffolk Public Schools. He served here for 13 years as principal – at Southwestern Intermediate School, Suffolk High School and Lakeland High School. Both of his daughters graduated from Lakeland High School. Debranski also worked for seven years as a principal with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the College of William & Mary, his master’s degree and certificate of advanced studies in educational administration from Old Dominion University, and his doctorate degree in educational administration from Virginia Tech. Debranski currently serves as chairman of the Suffolk unit for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia.
Enoch C. Copeland, Vice Chair
Holy Neck Borough
6225 Leafwood Road
Suffolk, VA 23437
July 1, 2006 – December 31, 2014
Enoch Copeland was elected to the School Board in 2006 to represent the Holy Neck Borough. He is a retired educator with Suffolk Public Schools, where he taught middle school social studies, served as principal of Oakland Elementary School, and worked as a middle school guidance counselor and home/school coordinator. Copeland graduated from Nansemond County Training School, which is now Southwestern Elementary School, in 1953. His son graduated from Forest Glen High School. Copeland earned his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University, his master’s degree from Hampton University, and his certificate of advanced studies from Old Dominion University. Active in the community, Copeland is a leader at Laurel Hill United Church of Christ, a life member of the NAACP, and a charter member the Portsmouth/Suffolk Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He has recent awards from each of these groups, including the NAACP King S. Bishop Service Award. In 2010, he was selected as a Community Hero award recipient by the Democratic Committee of Suffolk.
Linda W. Bouchard
6731 Crittenden Road
Suffolk, VA 23432
January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2014
Linda Bouchard was elected to the School Board in 2011 to represent the Chuckatuck Borough. She worked for 20 years as a Spanish and English literature teacher in Suffolk Public Schools, retiring in June 2010. She began her teaching career in 1972 in the Canary Islands, teaching English, Spanish and art history at the American School of Las Palmas. Her three children graduated from Nansemond River High School, and her granddaughter now attends Florence Bowser Elementary School, She earned her bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. Bouchard also worked as a paralegal focusing on estates and trusts.
Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck
6400 Old Westham Drive North
Suffolk, VA 23435
January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2016
Judith Brooks-Buck, Ph.D., was elected to the School Board in 2013 to represent the Nansemond Borough. Dr. Brooks-Buck is a professor at Virginia State University and has published writings on remedial reading, bilingual education, poverty, resegregation, and educational policy. Dr. Brooks-Buck holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and psychology from Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. She also holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision and a doctor of philosophy degree in educational policy studies, both from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She has more than 25 years of experience teaching and administering programs in four states and in West Germany. Dr. Brooks-Buck has served as a housing authority commissioner, executive director of a family self-sufficiency program, and assistant professor and department chair at Hampton University. She currently holds a Virginia Superintendent License.
Phyllis C. Byrum
1596 Great Fork Road
Suffolk, VA 23438
January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2016
Phyllis Byrum was elected to the School Board in 2009 to represent the Whaleyville Borough. She worked for 30 years with Suffolk Public Schools, as a high school social studies teacher. She earned her degree from Barton College and was a Forest Glen High School graduate. Byrum is an active community leader. She is the past president of the Whaleyville Ruritan Club, vice president of the Suffolk Woman’s Club, and member of the Suffolk Pilot Club and the Whaleyville and Nansemond-Suffolk Historical Societies. Byrum coordinates several community events, including Whaleyville Community Day and National Night Out. She also represents the School Board on the board of directors for the Suffolk Education Foundation. She was awarded the Suffolk Teacher of the Year in 2000 and is listed in Who’s Who of American High School Teachers.
Diane B. Foster
Sleepy Hole Borough
4693 Schooner Blvd.
Suffolk, VA 23435
January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2016
Diane Foster was elected to the School Board in 2009 to represent the Sleepy Hole Borough. Mrs. Foster worked for several years in the public school system as a teacher and reading specialist, and at Head Start as an Early Literacy and Career Development Specialist. She is currently working as a reading interventionist at the middle school level in the Hampton City school division. She has served on the Southeastern Cooperative Education Program (SECEP) board, the WHRO Education Advisory Committee, the Governor’s School for the Arts Board of Directors, and the Suffolk Special Education Advisory Committee. As a parent at John Yeates Middle School, she received the Award for Distinguished Service from the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers. She has a degree in Sociology from Radford University and a Masters in Education from the University of Virginia. In addition, she is a National Writing Project Fellow. She is married to Jeff Foster and has three grown sons who attended Suffolk Public Schools.
Lorraine B. Skeeter
2332 Hosier Road
Suffolk, VA 23434
July 1, 1993 – December 31, 2014
Lorraine Skeeter was appointed to the School Board in 1993 to represent the Cypress Borough. She served as board chairman from 2002 to 2010. Mrs. Skeeter recently retired as vice president at the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project – better known as the STOP Organization. This community action agency is an umbrella for many programs, including Head Start and a variety of other projects that help families to become self-sufficient. A graduate of East Suffolk High School and Norfolk State University, Mrs. Skeeter and her husband had three children and four grandchildren graduate from Suffolk Public Schools. One granddaughter and a great-grandson are currently students in the schools. Active in the community, she has served as chairman of the Suffolk Industrial Development Authority, as a commissioner on the Suffolk Historical Landmarks board of directors, is an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Suffolk Chapter of Links, Inc. She was named an Athena Award winner by the Chamber of Commerce as woman of distinction in Suffolk.