Hall, Shields retain HC School Board seats

Published 2:32 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WINTON – Apparently, the majority of Hertford County voters are satisfied with the current leadership of the Hertford County Board of Education.

In a show of that support, incumbent school board members J. Wendell Hall and David Shields will each serve another four-year term, according to the unofficial numbers from Tuesday’s General Election.

Hall was the leading vote-getter in a field of six candidates vying for two seats. The veteran educator was unofficially named on 4,309 ballots (30.04 percent of the overall vote).

“I appreciate the support and confidence of the voters of Hertford County,” said Hall around 9 p.m. on Tuesday as he awaited the voter outcome at the county’s Board of Elections office in Winton. “It’s an honor to be able to serve another four years.”

Hall added that he and his fellow board members were proud of the recent gains made by the Hertford County Public Schools district.

“It’s an exciting time in Hertford County education,” he remarked. “We have turned this ship around and have the wind in our sails. The water is still a bit choppy, but we are confident that we have our ship heading in the right direction, that of providing the educational skills that will allow our children to obtain a quality education and prepare them for a bright future.”

Meanwhile, incumbent David Shields locked in another four-year term by placing second. Shields, an Ahoskie businessman, received 3,385 votes (23.6 percent).

“Thank you to the citizens of Hertford County for your vote of confidence,” said Shields on Wednesday after earning a third term on the board. “This continuation of leadership on our board will allow us to continue the exciting things that are now occurring in Hertford County Schools. We are doing the right things to help our children to be successful, that’s the main focus of this board…no hidden agendas. I think we are on the cusp of becoming a very, very good school district…a leader in education.”

Echoing Hall’s comments, Shields said the school system is moving in the right direction.

“Last year, four of our five schools met expected growth and one of those met high growth,” Shields noted. “That alone says we’re headed in the right direction. But there are other ways to judge that success, one being that for the first time during my tenure on the board, we have no teacher openings in our district. That tells me of the positive environment our teachers are in.”

Shields was also complimentary of the Central Office staff, saying their multitasking abilities have allowed more money to be directed to where it needs to be – the classroom.

Political newcomer Marcus L. Williams placed third, but missed out on a board of education seat as he was named on 2,791 ballots (19.46 percent).

Rounding out the field of six candidates were Jennifer Ann Lassiter (2,093 votes; 14.59 percent), Jill Gadsden (945 votes; 6.59 percent) and Robert (Bobby) Warren (794 votes; 5.54 percent).

As far as the precinct breakdowns were concerned, Shields was the elections day leader with four wins outright (Ahoskie 1, Ahoskie 2, St. John and Union) and tying Lassiter in another (Harrellsville).

Hall also captured four precincts outright (Ahoskie 3, Cofield, Murfreesboro 2 and Winton).

Lassiter was the top voter-getter in Como and Millennium (tying Shields in Harrellsville) while Williams was named on the most election day ballots in the Bryantville and Murfreesboro 1 precincts.

All votes are unofficial until the Hertford County Board of Elections conducts its traditional canvass next week.

The other three seated members of the Hertford County Board of Education – chairman John Horton, vice-chairman Ronald Baker and Dennis Deloatch – were not up for reelection during this election cycle.