Board welcomes new members

Published 7:58 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Candidates elected to the Chilton County Board of Education on Tuesday will begin their six-year term this month with a fresh slate.

Joe Mims and Curtis Smith, the only two incumbents re-elected, and five new members will comprise the board, along with Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden.

Lori Patterson, Pam Price, Jim Shannon, Keith Moore and Linda Hand are the new board members and placed in the top seven of 10 candidates for the number of votes they received in Tuesday’s election.

Mims and Smith expressed excitement about continuing their service, working with the new board members and applying their past experience to current and future issues the board will face.

Both Mims and Smith have served on the board since 2000, and Mims was vice president for six of those years and president for two.

“I’m looking forward to working with them and just trying to improve the education for our kids in Chilton County,” Mims said. “I feel like we have the wisdom that comes with experience and the knowledge that comes with experience. We can provide guidance and mentoring to help the new board members get their feet on the ground and help them figure out what’s going on.”

Smith said the hardest part for new members could be learning all of the board’s policies, but the first regular meeting should help introduce everyone to the process.

“We’ll be able to go through a meeting or two so they’ll kind of know what’s expected of them,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to working with the new ones as well as the ones that were always there. I always try to work for harmony and hope we can work together to accomplish what we need to.”

According to Smith, another ongoing issue the board will have to confront is the upkeep of the county’s school buildings and working with the state Legislature to secure funding for new buildings.

“We try to have adequate buildings for our students,” Smith said. “That’s always a hard thing to keep up with. You don’t have the money that you need to have and try to do the best you can with what you have.”