Retired educator and administrator Bill Payne Jr. officially became a Beaufort County Board of Education member Friday morning.
At a short ceremony at the school district office in Beaufort before the start of the board's two-day work session, Municipal Judge James Grimsely administered the oath to Payne.
Payne's wife held the Bible as he took the oath. Afterward, he took his seat at the board and jumped right into work at the board's first day of a two-day session.
"I'm ready to fill the position," Payne said Oct. 15, when he won the seat. "It's something I've been preparing for. I'm ready to go to work and serve my community."
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Payne has filled the District 10 seat, which represents part of Hilton Head Island. He assumes the seat vacated by Mike Sanz, who resigned in August to accept a job with the district.
He was the only candidate to file for the election and was officially declared the winner, without an election, by the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections on Friday.
Payne spent 43 years in education and has been to several recent board meetings to stay informed of its recent discussions and decisions.
He joined the Beaufort County School District in 2002 and worked as an assistant principal at Hilton Head Island Middle School and Battery Creek and Hilton Head Island high schools, he said.
Payne also spent two years as principal at Whale Branch Middle School before retiring in 2008.
Follow reporter Sarah Bowman on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.