LUMBERTON — The Public Schools of Robeson County’s Board of Education will welcome three new members and elect a new chairman and vice chairman during its board meeting Tuesday.
Board members Gary Strickland, Bosco Locklear and Jo Ann Lowery will relinquish their seats to Craig Lowry, Charles Bullard and Brian Freeman following the results of an election in March.
“I enjoyed serving the citizens of District 5 and Robeson County,” Strickland said. “I will stay active with the schools and be a part of the community just like any citizen should.”
Strickland served one four-year term representing District 5 on the Board of Education.
His successor, Lowry, has served in several administrative roles in the Public Schools of Robeson County, and has worked for the school system for more than 30 years as not only an educator, but also a coach for county football and basketball teams.
Locklear, who served on the board on-and-off for 12 years, will be replaced by Charles Bullard, a former Lumbee Tribal Council member and Prospect native. The new District 4 representative has worked as a service technician for Piedmont Natural Gas for 15 years.
Freeman, a 20-year educator from Red Springs, will take Lowery’s at-large seat. Freeman was twice named a top 40 teacher in USA Today; was the first teacher from North Carolina to be named the National Education Association Foundation’s Teacher of Excellence; and is a former Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year for North Carolina.
Lowery, a former Robeson County educator, served three consecutive terms on the Public Schools of Robeson County’s Board of Education.
Robeson County is losing one American Indian representative on the Board of Education, with all of the outgoing board members representing American Indian residents and two incoming board members, Bullard and Lowry, representing the American Indian populations.
The Board of Education will also elect a new board chairman and vice chairman. Mike Smith has served as the board’s chairman for the past year, with John Campbell serving as vice chairman. The board generally rotates its elected officers, meaning Campbell would be the board’s new chairman. However, the board could deviate from its normal election process to nominate a different candidate, according to Smith.
In other business, the board will:
— Discuss the Child Nutrition Fresh Fruit program .
— Hear from Stephen Gaskins, assistant superintendent of Human Resources, who will discuss the Beginning Teacher Support plan.
— Discuss the status of the school system’s budget with Erica Setzer, financial officer for the Public Schools of Robeson County.
— Hear from Tommy Lowry, superintendent of the Public Schools of Robeson County, who will discuss Early College at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke as well as policy on the use of school facilities by community organizations.
— Review the 2016-2017 testing calendar.
— Receive a community resource list and student services performance report from Jadell Hawks, director of student support for the Public Schools of Robeson County.
Gabrielle Isaac can be reached at 910-816-1989 or on Twitter @news_gabbie.