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Whitaker selected

JACKSON – Less than one year ago, Keedra Whitaker saw her bid fall just short to earn a seat on the Northampton County Board of Education.

Ten months later the Rich Square educator achieved that goal.

During their scheduled meeting on Monday, the Northampton Board of Education selected Whitaker from a pool of five candidates seeking to fill the unexpired term of Erica Smith-Ingram on the school board. Smith-Ingram, who now represents District 3 in the NC Senate after winning last November’s General Election, resigned the school board seat she had held since July, 2008 effective Dec. 31, 2014.

Whitaker sought a seat on the Northampton Board of Education in May, 2014. There, she placed fourth in a field of seven candidates, finishing outside of the top three (each who earned a seat) by 156 votes.

Whitaker is a former science and social studies teacher at Conway Middle School, where she was runner-up for the title of Northampton County Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2012. The Chowan University graduate (Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education) is currently an assistant principal at Martin Millennium Academy, a K-8 school located in Tarboro that is part of Edgecombe County Public Schools.

All five of the candidates seeking to fill the vacant seat were interviewed by Northampton County Board of Education members on Monday. The other four candidates were Becky Turner, Richie Harding, Geneva Squire and Iris Williams.

Turner and Harding also ran for the Northampton School Board in May, 2014, respectively placing fifth and sixth in the balloting.

Squire is a former director in the Northampton County Schools Central Office. Williams is a Legal Assistant with the local District Attorney’s Office.

Each candidate expressed an interest in the open seat by following the protocol set forth by the Northampton Board of Education last month. They accepted letters of interest until Feb. 26. Each was interviewed during an open session conducted by the board on March 9 at the Central Services Office in Jackson. The board voted to select Whitaker at the close of those interviews.

Whitaker will serve out the remaining 16 months of Smith-Ingram’s unexpired term.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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