Trio vie to replace Bracy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2007

WINDSOR – One month from now the Bertie County Board of Education will have a new member, and it’s not even an election year.

On Tuesday, the board announced the names of three individuals seeking to replace current school board member Michael T. Bracy. Four months into his first year on the board, Bracy announced on April 3 that he will resign his seat effective May 31. He has accepted a position as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Testing and Accountability with Jones County Public Schools in Trenton.

Emma H. Johnson, Seaton P. Fairless Jr. and Cordia M. Hall are the three candidates from which the school board will choose as Bracy’s successor.

Johnson, who resides in Aulander, is a retired school teacher and school librarian, having taught for 33 years in Gates, Halifax and Hertford counties. She retired in 1995 while serving as librarian at Hertford County Middle School.

“I am truly interested in the education of our young people,” Johnson said when asked why she was seeking Bracy’s seat. “I believe I can be an asset to the Bertie County Board of Education.”

Born and raised in Colerain, Fairless is no stranger to Bertie County Public Schools. He served 16 years, the last one as chairman, on the Bertie Board of Education. He filed last year to seek another four-year term, but withdrew his name after Bracy filed for the same seat.

“I said at that time the reason for withdrawing from the election was because I strongly believed Mike Bracy brought so much to the table and was the right man at the right time for the job,” Fairless said. “I hate to see him go because I still feel he had so much to offer our school system.”

However, Fairless, a retired farmer, still believes he has a lot to offer. He said he was approached by numerous Bertie County citizens to put his name in the hat to fill the vacancy.

“The knowledge and experience I gained over those 16 years is what I can bring to the board,” Fairless said. “I still have a burning desire to see our school system advance and succeed, especially when it comes to student achievement.”

Efforts to contact Hall were unsuccessful.

According to Brent Todd, Public Information Officer for Bertie Public Schools, each of the three candidates fulfilled the requirements as set forth by the Bertie Board of Education. Todd said each candidate will be interviewed by school board members with a selection expected to be announced no later than early next month.

In order to fill the vacancy, the Bertie Board of Education followed North Carolina General Statute 115C-37(f) which states the school board appoints a member that does not fulfill their term due to death, resignation or other causes. That appointee will serve until the next election of members of such board, at which time the remaining unexpired term of the office in which the vacancy occurs shall be filled by election.

The trio of candidates each fulfilled the requirements as set by the school board, including being a qualified Bertie County voter at least 21 years of age and residing within Bracy’s elected district n District III which consists of the Colerain I, Colerain II, Mitchells I and Mitchells II voting precincts.

Each forwarded their packet of information to the school board by the April 30 deadline.