Board of education elects slate of officers

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Photo above: The Beaufort County School Board, from left in the front row, are Vice Chair Earl Campbell, Chairwoman Patricia Felton-Montgomery and Secretary Geri Kinton. Second row from left are JoAnn Orischak, Bill Payne, David Striebinger, Joseph Dunkle, Mary Cordray, Evva Anderson and Christina Gwozdz. 
Photo above: The Beaufort County School Board, from left in the front row, are Vice Chair Earl Campbell, Chairwoman Patricia Felton-Montgomery and Secretary Geri Kinton. Second row from left are JoAnn Orischak, Bill Payne, David Striebinger, Joseph Dunkle, Mary Cordray, Evva Anderson and Christina Gwozdz.

The Beaufort County board of education has taken on two new members and also elected a new slate of officers.

Career educator Patricia Felton-Montgomery will represent District 6 (Okatie and Sun City), and physician Christina Gwozdz will represent District 9 (Bluffton). Their terms will run through 2020.

The board also elected its officers for 2017: Patricia Felton-Montgomery as chair, Earl Campbell as vice chair and Geri Kinton as secretary.

Felton-Montgomery is a former superintendent of the Lawnside School District in New Jersey, and she also has served as director of Educational Leadership for the U.S. Department of Education’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree from Douglass College at Rutgers University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Syracuse University and a doctorate in educational administration from Teachers College Columbia University.

Mary Cordray decided not to accept any nomination to continue as chair of the Beaufort County board of education, saying to the board, “I appreciate the support and encouragement that I have received from those of you that have encouraged me to seek re-election to the chair position.

“My goal has always been and continues to be moving the school district forward. I am concerned that too much focus will be on me and not on what we are doing as a board or in our schools if I were to be elected chair for the upcoming two years.

“The position of chair requires that you support and advocate the will of the board and not your personal agenda, which is not always an easy position to be in. I have tried my best to live up to that responsibility. As most of you know, being chair was never a goal I had for my service on the board. … I sincerely hope that my decision not to run will allow the board to come together and focus on what we are really here for: the children in our school district.”