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Bertie welcomes new superintendent

Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins receives the oath of office from John Tyler, Bertie Clerk of Court. Staff Photo by Thadd White

WINDSOR – Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins is officially Superintendent of Bertie County Schools.

During a ceremony Thursday morning, Bertie County Clerk of Superior Court John C.P. Tyler administered the oath of office to Dr. Harris-Rollins in her new quarters.

“I’m excited,” Dr. Harris-Rollins said shortly after taking the oath. “This is a long-awaited day.”

While saying she was looking forward to the work ahead in Bertie County, Dr. Harris-Rollins also remembered those in the county who were dealing with tragedy.

“I’m excited for this opportunity, but also mindful that this is a difficult time for Bertie County,” she said. “We should not lose sight of the tragedy. I look at it as an opportunity for us to do what’s important and that’s come together.”

The swearing-in ceremony was well-attended by local officials. Four members of the Bertie County Board of Education were in attendance – Chair Gloria Lee and board members Emma Johnson, Rickey Freeman and Pamela Chamblee – along with Bertie Board of Commissioners Chairman L.C. Hoggard III, Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb and Bertie County Sheriff John Holley.

“It was a good day,” Dr. Harris-Rollins said. “I was very pleased and excited to see the attendance at the swearing in. I think it began a good relationship with the commissioners, county manager and school board members.

“We missed (Board of Education member) Mr. (Alton) Parker, who was ill, but I’m looking forward to working with everyone,” Dr. Harris-Rollins said.

In addition to the county officials, the school district staff was well-represented including Assistant Superintendent of Schools Carol Atkins along with Executive Directors Connie Richardson and Rickey Eley. There were several other staff members present.

Dr. Harris-Rollins also welcomed her mother, Emma Harris, as well as friends Dr. Ellen Johnson (Edgecombe County Schools), Deborah Carroll (Wake County Schools) and Abbey Askew (Hertford County Schools). The Rev. and Mrs. James Brown of Nebo Baptist Church also attended the ceremony.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Dr. Harris-Rollins said. “Even though the process went fairly quickly, it feels like it took a long time to get to the official first day. I’m very excited and ready.”