Johnson, Occena to lead Bertie School Board

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WINDSOR – The newest members of the Bertie County Board of Education made their presence felt quickly.

Moments after taking the oath of office last week, newly seated board members Tarsha Bush-Dudley and Bob Occena voted to make Emma Johnson chair of the school board.

Superintendent of Schools Elaine White opened the meeting and asked for nominations for board chair. Board member Rickey Freeman nominated Alton Parker for the post. Occena then nominated Johnson.

White asked for a motion to close nominations and the board unanimously agreed.

The vote was taken on paper ballots and Johnson was chosen chair of the board when she voted along with the two newest members. Parker and Freeman voted for Parker.

“Thank you to my fellow board members,” Johnson said upon her taking the gavel. “I promise we will be a team.”

Johnson went on to say that she believed the board should work together and that when state statutes and board policy didn’t effect a situation, the group should “use ethics and Christian values to solve the issue.”

Johnson then called for a vote on Vice Chair of the board. Without taking nominations, the paper ballots were passed out. Occena was selected as the board’s vice chair by the same three votes that chose Johnson as chair.

Parker and Freeman each voted for the other to serve as vice chair.

Before the meeting, the both Occena and Bush-Dudley took their oaths, as did White who was officially sworn in as Superintendent of Schools.

Later in the meeting, former board member Pamela Chamblee was recognized for her four years of dedicated service as a school board member. Chamblee, who now teaches senior English at Bertie High School, was given a plaque for her service.