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Alcorn, others confirmed to state education board

SALISBURY — A joint session of the General Assembly today confirmed Gov. Pat McCrory’s nominations to the State Board of Education, including Salisbury businessman Gregory Alcorn.
Alcorn is the founder and CEO of Global Contact Services and went to Catawba College at the same time McCrory did. He formerly was president of SOMAR Inc. in Salisbury and Telespectrum Inc. in King of Prussia, Penn.
He will represent District 7, which includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davie, Iredell, Rowan, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties.
“I would like to congratulate the six newest members of North Carolina’s Board of Education,” McCrory said in a press release. “These proven and qualified leaders will carry out our commitment of ensuring school safety and quality education for North Carolina’s children.”
The other confirmed appointments to the North Carolina State Board of Education include:
• Rebecca H. Taylor, of Pitt County, who has worked in the field of education for more than 35 years. She began her career as a special education teacher, serving students identified with learning and behavioral disabilities. Taylor was selected by East Carolina University to pilot an innovative, hands-on science curriculum with middle school students. She also taught in the Department of Special Education at East Carolina, where she supervised student teachers. She currently owns and operates five Sylvan Learning Center franchises in Eastern North Carolina. She will represent District 1.
• Dr. Olivia Oxendine, of Robeson County, who is a professor in the Department of School Administration and Counseling at UNC-Pembroke. Prior to her time at Pembroke, Oxendine served as curriculum director for the Hoke County School System. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from UNC-Greensboro. Oxendine will replace Shirley Harris, serving as a representative of District 4.
• A.L. “Buddy” Collins, of Forsyth County, who is an attorney in Kernersville. He also serves as a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and has been the board’s building committee chair since 2002. In 2008, Collins was awarded the Friend of Education Award by the Forsyth County Association of Educators. Collins will replace Christine Greene on the Board, serving as a representative of District 5.
• William Cobey Jr., of Orange County, who served as a member of the United States Congress in the mid-1980s. Afterward, Cobey joined the administration of Governor Martin as deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation and then as secretary of the Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources. Currently, Cobey serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill. He will serve as a member-at-large.
• Marcella Ramirez Savage, of Union County, who is a member of the Union County Board of Education. She was elected vice chair of the board in December 2012. Savage serves as marketing director for Chick-fil-A. Savage will replace Melissa Bartlett on the board serving as a member-at-large.

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