12/05/07 — Smith will lead county board of education

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Smith will lead county board of education

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 5, 2007 2:19 PM

For the second year, the Board of Education will be led by a woman.

Vice Chairman Thelma Smith succeeded Shirley Sims as chairwoman of the school board Monday night. George Moye was named vice chairman for the coming year.

Thanking the seven-member board for its vote of confidence, Mrs. Smith said she plans to make the year as memorable as that of her predecessor.

"I'm so proud to be able to follow her," she said. "I just want to savor this moment."

One year ago, Ms. Sims became the first woman to serve as the school board's chairman.

The two have shared common paths that led to their meeting on the Board of Education several years ago -- each was born a "Faison" although they were unrelated; they graduated from college the same year and entered education; and both married Marines.

"I don't know how our paths never crossed, but it wasn't until we got on the Board of Education that we did," Mrs. Smith said. "I really think it was divine intervention that our lives came together after all this time."

Crediting Ms. Sims with being an inspiration as well as a friend, she presented the outgoing chairwoman with an engraved plaque.

"I feel like maybe I have learned more from you than I have given to you, but there's one thing you can be assured -- I have given my best," Ms. Sims said. "I have tried to exemplify that character and maintain that integrity wherever I went."

Mrs. Smith said she anticipates an exciting year ahead for the school system.

"I want to put a positive face on every child we meet, all the positive things that we can say to the public," she said. "We're going to reach out our arms and our hands to the community to come in and give us some support. ... We can't do it all, teachers can't do it all, principals can't do it all, but together we can make it happen."