GREENSBORO — Alan Duncan was unanimously re-elected chairman of the Guilford County Board of Education on Tuesday night. Board members also elected Deena Hayes-Greene as vice chairwoman to replace Darlene Garrett.
Speaking during a break from the meeting, Garrett said she was willing to serve again, but also was happy to see Hayes-Greene take over the role. The two hugged during the break.
Garrett said she was sympathetic to the idea that it would be good for the board’s leadership to reflect racial diversity. She and Duncan are white while Hayes-Greene is black.
Back in September, Garrett faced calls from a coalition of education and civil rights groups to step down. Group leaders were unhappy with her involvement in an attempt to bring about changes to the high school graduation schedule set by Superintendent Sharon Contreras and her staff.
Duncan was elected to Guilford County’s Board of Education in 2000 and has served as chairman since 2002. He is the board’s at-large representative. Hayes-Greene, who represents District 8, was first elected to the school board in 2002.
Later in the meeting, Duncan asked staff what they’d discovered about holding some meetings in High Point. This was the second straight meeting in which some speakers during the public comment period spoke up for that idea.
Chief Operating Officer Scott McCully said they could definitely make the technology work, but wasn’t sure when the district could be ready.
In other business:
• The board voted to transfer $290,501 from other capital improvement funds so that the district can replace the visitors’ stadium bleachers at Smith High School and install lighting at the school’s track and practice field.
Staff members estimated the total cost to do both to be about $763,201, but the district has other funding already set aside for improvements to Smith.
• Board members also voted unanimously to adopt a new public records policy, which the district has never had. Under the policy, Chief of Staff Nora Carr would handle requests.
The policy allows for the possibility that the district might choose to charge fees in some cases.