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Welcome to the Board: Trio of Incoming WCS School Board Members Unofficially Welcomed at Work Session

By Paul T. Choate

(from left) Brenda Reese, Ron Henries and Barbara Kinsey. Photo by Paul T. Choate

Nov. 27, 2012. Incoming Watauga County Board of Education members, Brenda Reese, Ron Henries and Barbara Kinsey, were unofficially welcomed to the board by current members on Monday evening during a work session and year in review.

Current and outgoing Board Chair Deborah Miller presided over the work session and spoke positively of the three incoming members.

“I think it’s a good team,” Miller said, adding directly to the incoming members, “I think you’re set and poised to go as far as you can go or wish to go. Open hearts, open minds and support. We’re great anyway and we’re going to become even better.”

Reese was the top vote getter in the recent election with 10,587 votes. Kinsey was a close second, only 18 votes behind, with 10,569 votes. Henries came in third with 10,365 votes.

Incoming and outgoing members of the WCS school board at a Nov. 26 work session. Photo by Paul T. Choate

Current school board members Steve Combs and John Welch, along with Miller, will all be stepping down from their positions on the WCS Board of Education after choosing not to run for re-election. On Monday, Nov. 5, the outgoing three members were honored in a surprise honorary ceremony at the school board meeting.

Miller and Board Member Delora Hodges both offered advice to the incoming board members, saying it is important to remember that the body acts as a board as a whole and not as five individuals. They also noted that it is important to refrain from making a final decision on board agenda items prior to discussion at the meetings.

“Take each situation as it comes before the board,” Miller said. “We’ve been wonderful – there have been times that we disagree – but we’re okay. We’re passionate about what we do. That’s why we’re in education. Keep your board meetings here.”

Henries, Reese and Kinsey will be officially sworn in as WCS board members at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, at the Watauga County Courthouse. Their first meeting as new members of the board will be on Monday, Dec. 10.

“Thank you for choosing to serve,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Fonseca. “These are interesting times in education. … So thank you for choosing to serve in the field of education.”