Smith named chairwoman; Flanagan vice-chairwoman
By Amber Revels-Stocks
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
The two newest members of the Pitt County Board of Education took office on Monday night and the board elected a new chairwoman and vice chairwoman.
Tracy Everett-Lenz and Amy Cole took the oath of office along with Anna Barrett Smith and Caroline Doherty, who were re-elected to their seats on the board.
Smith, who was vice-chairwoman of the board last year, was elected as its chair for 2019. Betsy Flanagan was elected as vice-chairwoman.
“It’s exciting to be elected,” Everett-Lenz said. “I feel like this will give me a chance to stretch my skills and that I will continue to serve in the role that I have as a school psychologist: As a child advocate. I hope to be a promoter of public education.”
Everett-Lenz is the new board member for District 1. She won the seat over Robert Moore. She is a school psychologist with 21 years of experience in public education. She is currently enrolled in the Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County Parent Engagement Program. This is her first position as an elected official.
Cole is the new board member for District 2. She won the seat after Mildred Council decided not to run again. Cole is a math instructor at Pitt Community College with 16 years of experience in public education and is currently enrolled in the Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County Parent Engagement Program. This is her first position as an elected official.
“It feels great (to be elected),” Cole said. “It feels a little overwhelming, but I’m looking forward to it. I hope that I do everybody who voted for me proud.”
Smith was re-elected as the board member for District 5. This is her second year on the board. Doherty won re-election for District 7. This is her sixth year on the board.
“I am grateful to the voters for re-electing me to serve for another four years,” Doherty said. “I take seriously the responsibility to address the needs and aspirations of all Pitt County Schools students and am honored to serve another term.”
Smith thanked fellow board members for supporting her as chairwoman.
“It’s humbling because I know it is a position everybody on the board takes very seriously,” Smith said. “They count on that person to be able to lead a meeting and to be able to lead the direction of the board, so I’m grateful for the confidence my fellow board members have shown in electing me.”
Flanagan is the board member from District 4. This is her second year on the board.
“I’m honored to receive the support of my entire board to serve as vice-chair,” Flanagan said.
Pitt County Senior District Court Judge G. Galen Braddy administered the oath for each of the four board members.
“I am a product of Pitt County Schools, and my sons go to Pitt County Schools,” he said. “I am honored to be here tonight to perform this swearing in.”
In other action, the board:
■ Recognized outgoing board members Robert Moore and Mildred Council. Both received special plaques thanking them for their service. Council also received the gavel she used as board chairwoman.
■ Approved the Beginning Teacher Support Plan for the 2018-19 school year as part of the consent agenda.
■ Held a moment of silence for Autumn Harper, a third-grader at Eastern Elementary School. Harper’s funeral was held Monday.
■ Went into closed session to consult with its attorney on Fearrington v. City of Greenville and Pitt County Board of Education and Vaitovas v. City of Greenville. No action was taken.