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Seal's Final Meeting

CUMBERLAND – With the new Cumberland School Board taking its post on January 1, Doris Seal, the one member leaving the group, took time to look back on her time spent on the County's first elected Board.

Ms. Seal, District Three's representative, decided not to run for re-election in November and will be replaced by Eurika Tyree in 2012.

“I want to say thank you for the people who have supported me over the last four years,” she said. “I always like a challenge and things are going well. I feel good about what I've done. I feel good about the direction we are going in. Certainly Dr. (Amy) Griffin has been a pleasure to work with…I think that speaks a lot and makes me feel very comfortable and no matter what faces us in the budget or personnel, she is going to handle it according to the policy and handle our money in the most effective way for the students in our school division. So, there's not much for me to worry with. I'll leave it to the others.”

<!– 1upcrlf2 –>School Board member Ginger Sanderson said, “You were our first chairperson and you helped us build the team that we have now. For that, I'm grateful. You've also done things within the school beyond the School Board…”

Seal later added, “I certainly welcome Ms. Tyree. I've known her for a number of years and I know she has a great deal of enthusiasm for our division and she is truly a team player and as she learns the role and the responsibility of a School Board member she will be a tremendous asset to all of you.”

George Reid Jr. noted, “I thought this was going to be my last meeting also but things have a way of working out.”

Reid also decided in the summer not to run for re-election but won the District Four seat by write-in votes in November.

Board Budget Comments

Related to the upcoming budget work that must be completed, Chairman George Dowdy stated, “I just hope our representatives on the state level, the federal level and on the local level will not forget education in the development of their new budgets because I know we are in difficult times but we are in positive times as far as the things that are taking place in our public ed. and the things that are being introduced to our students. We are moving forward…”

Ms. Seal also noted her outgoing concerns pertinent to the budget, “We have always been very concerned about not losing any more teachers. Of course, we would like to have more teachers to offer more to the students. During the four past years we have…cut positions. It's happening everywhere and the budget looks like there may be some challenges coming forward. I think as a Board we are looking at keeping our personnel because it is really the energy of the teachers and all of our staff that makes the students…There are a lot of things we can cut but salaries are the largest part of the budget and that's where we look but that's also what makes an educational program.

“I would have that as one of our major goals,” she continued. “To keep the people that we have and to recognize the sacrifices that we've made over the last few years.”

Ms. Sanderson later noted that the school division must work to “continue to enhance the wonderful programs” that Cumberland has already started.

“I don't want programs to be lost and I don't want teachers to be lost,” she said. “Those would be my two top priorities but once again I hold my breath and we all may have to rethink our priorities… We are waiting to hear from the Governor.”

Reid described how difficult the budget process is each year.

“I just hope that we can keep our progress,” he said. “And hopefully we can add to the progress that we've made in the past.”