The Nelson County School Board will welcome back a familiar face to the Central District seat in 2020.
Margaret Clair ran as a write-in candidate for the Central District representative on the school board against another write-in candidate, Doris Bibb. Bibb is the current interim Central District representative. Bibb was appointed to the board in September. She sat in on her first official meeting in October replacing former representative Dave Francis who retired in August before his term ended.
Clair previously served in the position from 2009 to 2013.
“It’s kind of a surprise I guess,” Clair said on Nov. 11.
Clair said she had decided not to run for re-election after her term was up in 2013 because her job was taking up a lot of her time and she was struggling to balance everything. Clair now has a new job and when she heard Francis was no longer serving, she considered running.
“No one knew who to vote for. I got the word out,” Clair said.
Clair said because no one was on the ballot officially, constituents weren’t sure who to vote for. Clair said it helped that people know her because she has kids in the public school system. Her youngest is currently a senior at the high school.
“I think it was comforting for people who wanted to vote,” Clair said.
Clair said as a board member again, some things will be the same for her and some things will be different. For Clair, the board members have changed a lot since she last served. She also said she has yet to meet Nelson County Public School Division Superintendent Martha Eagle. Her goals and focus, however, are the same. Clair said she wants to ensure that teachers have a good environment so the county can hire and retain the best; that students have everything they need to learn in a safe and kind place, and that the school board is doing the best it can with the budget available.
“I want to make sure we are using the resources to the best of our ability to meet those goals,” Clair said.
Bibb will finish out the year as interim and Clair will take the seat in January.
Shannon Rothgeb Powell ran uncontested, and won, the West District seat after long-term member David Parr announced his transition from the school board to the Nelson County Board of Supervisors.
East District representative George Cheape will officially be a board member and no longer an interim after winning the election and Ceaser Perkins, South District representative, will continue to serve on the board as well after winning the uncontested race.
Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.