“Madam Chair” is a phrase that will get much use at local government meetings in Amherst County this year.

The Amherst County Board of Supervisors during its first meeting of the year Jan. 9 selected a female duo to fill both chair and vice chair role, a first for the county. Claudia Tucker, the board’s current longest serving member who has served the past 10 years, was unanimously chosen as chairwoman while Jennifer Moore, who has served the past two years, was tapped as vice chairwoman.

Tucker, who also has served a few prior years in the chair role, said she is honored by the board’s trust and looks forward to continuing working alongside fellow supervisors, including Tom Martin, who served his first meeting Jan. 9 as the board’s new District 1 representative.

“We have a wealth of subject matter expertise on this board and I know that all of us look forward to using that along with the phenomenal staff to continue to move Amherst County forward,” Tucker said.

She said top priorities this year are supporting the county’s law enforcement and public safety personnel in compensation and equipment.

“We want to maintain and recruit the best available because our residents deserve no less,” Tucker said of staff.

She said supervisors want to work closely and in partnership with the Amherst County School Board to promote the highest quality of education and to ensure vocational opportunities in the schools are the best in the region, including a renewed emphasis on agriculture, an area that has major financial impact in the county.

“Most importantly, we must remember that in order to attract businesses we need to do all of the above to the best of our ability,” Tucker said. “We need for all our citizens to be involved and to question and ask questions of their local government. This is a two-way street; not a one-way road.”

Moore said it’s an honor and a privilege to serve citizens of Amherst County in the vice chair role. “Continuing to be trusted with the responsibility of helping lead our community is humbling,” Moore said.

Tucker and Moore also were chosen to the chair and vice chair roles, respectively, of the Amherst County Service Authority’s governing board.

The School Board also selected a female duo of Priscilla Liggon and Abby Thompson to fill the chair and vice chair positions during its first meeting of the year Jan. 9.

Liggon, the board’s current longest serving member who has served the past 20 years, is serving in the chair role for the first time after several years as the board’s vice chair.

She said she has had learned much from fellow board members and five division superintendents she has worked with and is excited to take on the chair position.

“I have no agenda but the mission statement: every child every day,” Liggon said, referring to the division’s motto.

At-large member Abby Thompson also was selected as vice chairwoman, the first time she has held the role since her appointment in 2016.

Liggon said it has been a pleasure to serve the children of Amherst County and she has enjoyed each moment of doing so the past two decades. The board also during the Jan. 9 meeting welcomed its three newest members: Ginger Burg, John Grieser and Christopher Terry.

“I am looking forward to the new members and their contribution to the mission statement as well,” Liggon said.

She said she looks ahead to working with Superintendent Rob Arnold as the division continues to have safety, equity and student achievement "on the top burners for all students and the Amherst County Public Schools family.”

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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