Tillman appointed to fill school board vacancy

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — George Crump, attorney for the Richmond County Board of Education, took a few minutes Tuesday evening to layout a proposal for board members to address regarding how to go about appointing a new member.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Ronald Tillman

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Ronald Tillman

Crump said the policy, if approved, allowed for several rounds of voting if a first-effort effort didn’t garner a majority of votes among the six board members. The seat previously held by Tom McInnis has been vacant since McInnis’ December resignation. McInnis was elected in November to represent District 25 in the North Carolina Senate.

State law, Crump said, requires board members to appoint an applicant in the event of a vacancy, “but the statute is silent on process.”

It turns out none of the details about second or subsequent rounds of voting were necessary — at least not in this case. There were seven candidates who submitted letters of interest before the Feb. 17 deadline — Vernon C. Gardner Jr., Arlethia G. Hailey, Dian Griffin Jackson, Maurice L. Stuart II, Robert L. Swinney, T.K. Thrower and Ronald Tilman.

After each candidate answered three questions — the role of the board, unique characteristics each candidate could bring to the board and why they felt qualified to be a board member — board member Don Greene nominated Tillman and board member Jerry Ethridge nominated Thrower, a former Rohanen Middle School principal.

T.K. Thrower

T.K. Thrower

In the first round of voting, Thrower wasn’t considered as Tillman received all the votes he needed — a majority of four — by getting the support of Greene, Richardson, board chairman Wiley Mabe, Bobbie Sue Ormsby and

Along with working in the state’s juvenile justice program, the Rockingham man told board members he also had experience as a foster parent.

“He had some baggage,” Tillman explained. “He didn’t look like me, but he stayed in my home.”

The man later graduated high school and now serves in the U.S. military.

Vernon C. Gardner Jr.

Vernon C. Gardner Jr.

“I am able to work with anybody,” Tillman said. “Passion is what drives … it should drive each one of us. It’s about doing what’s right by our kids.”

Tillman is no stranger to Richmond County Schools. The 45-year-old is a 1987 graduate of Richmond Senior School and after graduating from what’s now Wingate University, he was hired by Richardson — then Rohanen Junior High School principal — as in-school suspension counselor.

Tillman also served as assistant football coach for the Raiders varsity program under coach Hal Shuler.

Richardson called Tillman “a good man” and “a straight arrow,” along with a welcomed addition to the board.

Arlethia G. Hailey

Arlethia G. Hailey

Dr. Irene Aiken, for her part, thanked each of the seven candidates prior to the board’s vote and encouraged each of them to run for the school board in the next cycle. She and Richardson both expressed admiration about the quality of the candidates.

Tillman is expected to be sworn in before the school board’s next monthly public meeting scheduled for June 2.

Robert L. Swinney

Robert L. Swinney

Maurice L. Stuart II

Maurice L. Stuart II

Dian Griffin Jackson

Dian Griffin Jackson

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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