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Bertie Board begins new era

WINDSOR – Touting a fresh start, the Bertie County Board of Education began a new era here Monday night.

With two new board members n Michael Bracy and Alton Parker n and a new face in the chairman’s seat, the county’s educational leadership set their sights on moving the system to new heights.

In a brief ceremony, political newcomers Bracy and Parker received their oath of office from Bertie County Clerk of Court John Tyler. Joining them was incumbent school board member Ricky Freeman, who was recently elected to another four-year term.

Bertie Schools Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart opened the meeting by asking for nominations for board chairman. Parker nominated Freeman who was approved by unanimous vote.

“I thank the board for this show of support,” Freeman said. “This is an honor I do not take lightly, nor does it change my focus which remains on the school children of Bertie County.”

Freeman then opened the floor for nominations for vice-chairman. Parker suggested incumbent Melinda Eure fill that role while Bracy entered the name of incumbent Gloria Lee. Eure won by a 3-2 vote with Parker and Freeman joining Eure in that favorable tally.

Following the process to select the leadership, Freeman said it was extremely important for the board to work together.

“We have to work in unison to provide the best possible education for our children,” he said.

Eure said she was ready to face the challenges the job brings.

“This is a challenge for me (in a leadership role), but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Eure noted. “We need to focus on curriculum issues and focus on what’s best for the children.”

Lee welcomed the new members of the board, saying they were all a team and should work together as a team.

The two new board members also added their comments.

“I want us to look to the citizens of Bertie County to help guide us where we need to go and to do what is right for Bertie County,” Parker said.

“This is an honor for me to represent my community and my county as a school board member,” Bracy stated. “I’m up to the challenge of setting direction for our school district. We need to keep student achievement at the forefront. Teaching and learning, that’s what we’re all about.”

In closing, Dr. Collins-Hart said she looked forward to working with the board.

The newly aligned board will get down to business at their next meeting, scheduled for a 10 a.m. start on Dec. 18.