Familiar faces abound as school board begins new term
Keith King, left, and W.D. Anderson are sworn in as members of the Lenoir County Board of Education by Lenoir County Clerk of Superior Court Dawn Stroud on Monday night. The men were elected to their second four-year terms in November. The board later named King board chair. Photo by Patrick Holmes / Lenoir County Public Schools
The Lenoir County Board of Education followed the swearing-in of three members reelected in November by voting Monday night to keep its leadership in place.
Sworn in by Lenoir County Clerk of Court Dawn Stroud for new four years terms were District 2 member Keith King of La Grange, District 5 member W.D. Anderson of Kinston and District 1 member Billy Davis of Kinston. The trio ran unopposed in the 2018 election.
King, who was named board chair in July after the resignation of Jon Sargeant, was returned to that position for the next year and Bruce Hill of Kinston, an at-large member, retained his position as vice chair.
Both were elected on 4-3 votes. The contest for chair featured King and Hill and the contest for vice chair paired Hill and Merwyn Smith, at-large member from La Grange. The vote was conducted by paper ballot.
“The last four years I have enjoyed being a member of this board,” King said in comments to a packed meeting room after the vote. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me over the years that this is a thankless job, and I will disagree to an extent. I’ve had a lot of people in the last couple of years thank me for serving on this board and thank this board and our leadership team for the positive work that goes from this building to every school.
“We have done some wonderful things.”
King, Anderson and Davis all joined the board in December 2014.
King also said he was thankful to also serve as the chair for another term.
“I’m truly humbled to have been chosen to lead us forward,” King said. “I’m truly thankful for the support of the board and grateful for the staff here at Lenoir County Public Schools — they make this job a lot easier than it is.”
Davis said his goal is to continue moving the organization in a positive direction.
“I’ve served in Lenoir County Public Schools for 32 years,” Davis said. “I retired here, I love my area and will do whatever I can to help move our education forward.”
Anderson said he’s learned plenty on the job so far and is excited to continue growing with the board.
“I’m honored to have been sworn in,” Anderson said. “I’ve seen a lot during the first term; I believe in the path we’re going and as we say in our group ‘see it through.’ I can’t wait to continue seeing things through.”
Hill said he hopes to continue seeing progress in the school system.
“At one point in time, we were a low-performing district and we’ve made a considerable turnaround,” Hill said. “The board gets some credit, but the administration deserves the majority. They’ve realized we need to make changes, found out what we needed, implemented them and made sure we all followed through.”