School Board Meeting Dates (second Thursday of each month, unless modified by board vote):
- July 9, 2015
- August 20, 2015 … Changed to combine with annual retreat
- September 10, 2015
- October 8, 2015
- November 12, 2015
- December 10, 2015
- January 14, 2016
- February 11, 2016
- March 10, 2016
- April 14, 2016
- May 12, 2016
- June 9, 2016
Typically, the public meeting begins at 7 p.m. held in City Council Chambers, which is now located on the first floor of the new Municipal Building, located at 442 W. Washington St. However,
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Dr. Michael J. Debranski, Chair
1015 Maryland Avenue
Suffolk, VA 23434
July 1, 2006 – December 31, 2018
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, 2018
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, 2018
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 attended 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, past president of the Suffolk Woman’s Club, and member of the Whaleyville and Nansemond-Suffolk Historical Societies. She also represents the School Board on the governing board of the Pruden Center for Industry & Technology. She was awarded the Suffolk Teacher of the Year in 2000 and is listed in Who’s Who of American High School Teachers.
David P. Mitnick
Sleepy Hole Borough
916-C Vineyard Place
Suffolk VA 23435
January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2016
David Mitnick was elected to the School Board in 2015 to represent the Sleepy Hole Borough. He retired in 2010 from Suffolk Public Schools after a 36 year career as an elementary school teacher, elementary school counselor, high school counselor, middle school assistant principal, magnet school program administrator and adult education principal. He served as the Director of the Virginia Governor’s School of Medicine for ten summers at the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, two graduate degrees from Old Dominion University and has completed graduate work at four other universities. Mitnick served in the United States Army from 1971 – 1974. Since retirement, he has been extremely active in the community and volunteers with the Suffolk Education Foundation, American Cancer Society and the Out of the Darkness Walk.
Lorraine B. Skeeter
2332 Hosier Road
Suffolk, VA 23434
July 1, 1993 – December 31, 2018
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.