Anita C. Hale was appointed to the Cumberland County Board of Education’s 4th Civil District vacant seat during Tuesday night’s Cumberland County Commission meeting in a 12-4 vote. She was sworn in immediately following the county commission’s vote.
“I thank everyone for their support and will work hard for the children of Cumberland County and to represent the people of the 4th District,” Hale said.
Other candidates included Joseph Dunn and Brian McDonald.
Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster said Dunn called to withdraw his name from consideration.
Each candidate was allowed up to 10 minutes to present themselves to the county commission. McDonald’s name was chosen first.
McDonald said his main goal and mission on the BOE would be to serve the children of Cumberland County.
He cited his experience with Crossville Ceramics as an engineer for the past 20 years and experience working to develop a budget, facility maintenance and policy development.
“We moved here for a job and fell in love with Cumberland County,” McDonald said.
He said his daughter is a special education teacher at Cumberland County High School and children and education are subjects that are near and dear to his heart.
He said he would work with all of the BOE members to try and present a balanced budget to the Cumberland County Commission at budget time.
He said he realizes there has to be a balance between the kids, teachers and taxpayers.
“We can do anything, but we can’t do everything,” McDonald said.
He said he wants to help kids in need, and his home is always a safe haven.
“I have a heart for children,” McDonald said.
Hale cited her background in education, with more than 37 years in the classroom, including 28 years teaching at North Cumberland Elementary.
She cited having bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and being a highly qualified teacher in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.
With her education background, Hale said she could “Walk the walk.”
She said she would add a personal touch as a BOE member and would go to each school to talk with children and staff.
Hale said education, teaching and children have been her passion for decades, and she knows how hard dedicated educators work for the children of Cumberland County.
Wendell Wilson, 6th District commissioner, nominated Hale.
“We have two very good candidates. It’s not easy to serve in public office. In August the people will vote to place someone in this seat … I’ve known Anita Hale for more than 20 years and worked with her while I was principal at North Cumberland. She is an outstanding, professional person and is dedicated. She is that quality of a person,” Wilson said.
John Patterson, 9th District commissioner, nominated McDonald for the position. He said the BOE lost a business professional when Josh Stone resigned, and he believes the BOE need a qualified business professional to take his place in order to help with the BOE’s budget planning.
McDonald received four votes from commissioners Chad Norris, 1st District; David Gibson, 4th District; Jim Blalock, 8th District; and Patterson.
Hale received 12 votes from commissioners Sue York, 1st District; Kyle Davis and Nancy Hyder, 2nd District; Darrell Threet, 3rd District; Charles Seiber, 4th District; Jack Davis and Terry Lowe, 5th District; Wilson and Joseph Sherrill, 6th District; Mark Baldwin and Jerry Cooper, 7th District; and Deborah Holbrook, 8th District.
The 4th District seat will be on the county’s general election ballot this August, as it was regularly scheduled with the other even-numbered districts.
County commissioners Rebecca Stone, 3rd District; and Colleen Mall, 9th District, did not attend the meeting.