School board unanimously selects Richard Miller as chairman after four new members are sworn-in

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:52 a.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1:49 a.m.
L.A. Overcash takes the oath of office with his wife, Patty, by his side Monday. Photo by Sarah Campbell, Salisbury Post.
L.A. Overcash takes the oath of office with his wife, Patty, by his side Monday. Photo by Sarah Campbell, Salisbury Post.

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to name Richard Miller chairman.

It was the first order of business for new board members Susan Cox, Chuck Hughes, L.A. Overcash and Josh Wagner.


Miller, who is serving his first term on the board, was nominated for the role by Jean Kennedy, the former vice-chairwoman.

Kennedy said she’s confident Miller has the skills and the dedication to lead the board.

“He’s open-minded and he possesses a lot of the qualities that I feel we need at this time, not only to move us forward, but to engage the community in what we’re doing,” she said. “I feel he’ll have the strong human relations skills that we’ll need to establish positive rapport with the county commissioners.”

Miller said he’s honored by the level of confidence placed in him by a unanimous vote.

“I hope that I have the ability to provide leadership to the board to have the school system achieve potentially what we can do,” he said.

Miller said the school board has spent too much time debating the central office project and he’s ready to come together with all stakeholders, including the Salisbury City Council and Rowan County Board of Commissioners, to finalize the conversation.

“We need to get on with effectively running the school system,” he said.

Kay Wright Norman, who is currently serving her 17th year on the board, was selected as vice-chairwoman by a vote of 4-3.

Kennedy, Overcash and Miller backed Norman, who voted for herself.

Hughes and Cox supported Wagner, who also voted for himself. Wagner was nominated by Hughes.

“Mrs. Norman has the expertise, determination and the competence that we need,” Kennedy said. “The two of them should complement each other nicely.”

Norman, who told a Post reporter Friday she’d like to be chairwoman, said she was willing to serve in any capacity.

“I was elected to serve in whatever manner that takes place, if I’m elected to an office of the board I will serve,” she said Monday.

Rowan County Clerk of Court Jeff Barger swore-in the new board members just prior to Monday’s meeting.

Hughes and Wagner unseated Bryce Beard and Dr. Jim Emerson to serve the Salisbury and east areas, respectively.

Both Beard and Emerson were seeking a third term on the board.

Cox is replacing Linda Freeze, who pulled out of the race for the southeast area seat due to a personal situation.

This is the first term for all three newly-elected board members.

Members of the former school board selected Overcash to serve the remainder of Mike Caskey’s term on the board during a called meeting. Caskey stepped down earlier this month to take his spot on the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Commissioners.

Overcash, who was on the school board from 1998 to 2002, was the runner-up against Caskey for the south seat during the 2010 election.

Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

Twitter: twitter.com/posteducation

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