Seven school board members bid farewell to board at last meeting

rheaton@islandpacket.comDecember 11, 2012 

  • unanimously approved the following donations: $10,000 from Bi-Lo for Battery Creek High School's robotics program; $2,500 from Hargray for the golf team at Hilton Head Island High School; and $25,000 from the Active Schools Acceleration Project -- $18,750 for Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts' strength team and $6,250 for other health and wellness programs in the district.

  • Heard a report from Charlotte Allen of Webster Rodgers, which conducted the district's 2011-12 audit. The audit was problem free, Allen said.

  • Unanimously authorized applications for reimbursements on several telecommunications contracts.

Seven outgoing Beaufort County Board of Education members bid the board goodbye Tuesday at their last meeting.

Though the board members serve until January, Tuesday was their last official gathering.

Board members Julie Bell, Herbert Burnes, Wayne Carbiener, Ronald Speaks, Steven Morello, vice-chairman George Wilson and chairman Fred Washington Jr. will no longer be on the board. Carbiener attended Tuesday's meeting by phone. Morello was absent.

New board members elected in November will be sworn in at a Jan. 2 board meeting.

The high turnover -- only four of the original 11-member body will remain -- is due in part to redistricting based on the 2010 Census, which put 10 of 11 districts on the ballot.

The outgoing members each spoke at Tuesday's meeting. Many said the decisions they had made on the board were tough, but that they did what they believed was best. Some offered advice to incoming board members, and all said they were thankful for their terms on the board.

"It's been a great time," Wilson said. "I hope the new superintendent and the new board will continue where we left off. The job is not done; a lot more improvements are required. I'm sure they'll be able to do that."

Washington, who served on the board for six years, said he believed the time he and other members served was worthwhile.

"Without principles, conviction and beliefs, we as a society are not (as strong)," he said. "Education is key to all of that, and it's worth the sacrifice."

The board also discussed some leftover items from the Nov. 17 work session agenda: a board member attendance policy, ways to encourage community participation with the board, and the merits and results of the district's extended learning time program.

The board also met informally with school improvement council representatives from across the district.

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at

Related content:

Washington defeated; newcomers to join school board; Nov. 6, 2012

More southern Beaufort County representatives to hold seats on countywide boards; Oct. 18, 2012

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