The Bartow County School Board began 2019 by electing new officers.
At a called meeting Monday night, the five-member board elected District 4 representative Fred Kittle as chairman and District 3 representative Derek Keeney as vice chairman for the new calendar year.
Kittle and Keeney both were nominated for the chairman position, but Kittle won by a 3-2 margin, receiving votes from new board members Tony Ross from District 1 and Terry Lee Eggert from District 2 as well as himself.
District 5 board member Anna Sullivan then nominated Keeney for vice chairman, which he won unanimously.
School board attorney Boyd Pettit presided over the election.
“I appreciate everybody’s vote,” Kittle said after the meeting. “Really blessed with some really good folks. We’ve got two existing members and two new members. All have great skill sets.”
Kittle said Eggert is “one of the big businessmen in the country,” and Keeney, as an engineer, “spots stuff really well.”
Ross is a “jack of all trades,” with experience in law enforcement, business and nonprofits, he said, and Sullivan brings “all her experience and [is] heart of the community.”
Kittle, who’s starting his seventh year on the board, also said he’s looking forward to working with Superintendent Dr. Phillip Page.
“We all support him,” he said. “We’ll have some oversight, but there won’t be any micromanaging or anything like that.”
All of the board members “love the community involvement so you’ll see all kinds of good things, I think,” he added.
Voted vice chairman his first two years on the board, Kittle said “everything is positive” with the new board.
“Everybody gets along so that’s good,” he said. “I’m not saying they didn’t before. I look forward to good things. We’ll just let the superintendent do his job, and we’ll always welcome help from the community.”
Keeney will be serving his second year as the board’s vice chairman.
“I’m excited about the opportunity and looking forward to serving the school district and the students in the role,” he said. “Looking forward to a great year for Bartow County School System.”
Page said he’s “very excited” to work with both officers during the next 12 months.
“Mr. Keeney has the experience of the vice chair this past year that I’ve been working with, and Mr. Kittle has been on our board for quite a while and certainly understands our community,” he said. “He understands what we need to do as a board to go forward. I’m just excited to be able to work with both of them and all five board members to continue doing the work that we’ve been doing.”