Two reappointed to Southampton school board

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2016

After one week’s deliberation, the Southampton County School Board Selection Commission on Tuesday morning reappointed vice chairman Jim Pope and Donna Rountree to their respective places on the school board.

Pope, a Capron resident who also chairs the school board’s budget committee, will serve a second term on the board after running unopposed for the position.

“I would like to thank the selection committee for my reappointment,” he said. “I plan on continuing to work with our board to help our students obtain the best education possible. As [the district announced Monday] night, all Southampton County Public Schools will be fully accredited going into the new school year, and I will work with our board to make sure the students and staff are provided with the tools necessary to maintain this level of performance.”

Rountree defeated former Meherrin Elementary Principal Syretha Wright for the Drewryville seat. She will also be serving her second four-year term.

“I’m very grateful because I do enjoy the job and I’m glad that they feel confident that I can do it for another four years,” Rountree said.

Southampton County Public Schools is one of only three districts in the state that entrusts a court-appointed group of three to select school board members. Most districts changed from appointed to elected school boards after the General Assembly enacted legislation in 1992 permitting them to do so.

The selection commission is comprised of chairman Mark Hodges, Wayne Cosby and Larry Rose.

“We’re very thankful for the people who serve on the school board; it’s a very thankless job,” Hodges said. “It often times draws some unwarranted criticism and very little reward.”

Next year, the terms will end for the Newsoms and at-large seats held by Denise Bunn and chairman Dr. Deborah Goodwyn, respectively. Bunn will concluded her second term and Goodwyn her fourth on the school board on June 30, 2017.