County school board members ask for reappointment

Published 11:06 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

Earlier this past week, three unchallenged members of the Southampton County School Board put their names up for consideration to be reappointed.

Before making their case at the public hearing, Mark Hodges of the selection commission introduced himself along with Wayne Cosby and Larry Rose, the latter of whom four years ago succeeded retiring Emerson Kitchen Sr.

Hodges described the role of a school board member as a thankless one, with lots of criticism and little acclamation.

Nonetheless, “We thank you for the job you do,” he said.

The first candidate was Christopher Smith Sr. of the Jerusalem District, who asked to again be reappointed. Smith said he takes the position very seriously, and offers “a unique perspective” to the role. For example, he’s also been involved with the regional board of Governor’s School for the Arts for 30 years.

Further, the board’s role is to “create the tenor, the spirit” of the school division.

“We are the life support of the system,” Smith said.

Dr. Carolyn Modlin, representing the Boykins District, described herself as a “very informed” member of the board. She pointed out her 47 years as a teacher both on the high school and college levels; and she continues to teach a couple of classes each semester. When feasible, the professor emeritus also takes advantage of professional development courses.

Modlin praised superintendent Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon for her leadership of the school division.

“She’s preparing our schools to be better each year … I want to be on board [for that,]” said the candidate. “I want to stay to support her.”

At-large representative William Worsham of Ivor said, “I appreciate the opportunity to be on the board. It is a privilege and an honor. We have a forward-thinking superintendent.”

He described the board as a “listening post for the community,” and has enjoyed his four years of service so far.

Worsham added that if reappointed, “I’m going to give it the best shot I’ve got.”

Testifying to his ability to continue serving were four other people: his daughter, the Rev. Will Sloan of Grace Memorial UMC in Sedley; Ron Reese of Zuni and Joe Vick of Capron.

The board will announce its decisions on Tuesday, June 26, starting at 11 a.m., in the School Board Complex.