CLEVELAND, Tenn. — David Kelley and Dr. Richard Baker ended their service on the Bradley County School Board on Monday evening.
They chose not to seek re-election in last week's voting.
"I want to thank the children. They made me look good. They have done extremely well," said Baker, a former Navy fighter pilot who served eight years on the board. He also had thanks for teachers, staff and board members.
Baker handed out parting gifts to each board member, plus Director Johnny McDaniel, the two new board members — Nicholas Lillios and Chris Turner — and board Secretary Sammie Humphrey.
Kelley paid a tribute to the late board member Terry McGuire.
"He raised the bar for all of us," Kelley said.
After six years of working through numerous construction projects and watching students achieve goals and awards, "God has a plan for this school system," said Kelley, a former minister.
Board Chairman Charlie Rose commented on his campaign for re-election and support for the proposed wheel tax for schools. The wheel tax referendum lost by nearly a 3-to-1 margin.
"I learned what a great community this is," Rose said. "I must have talked to a thousand people, and not one person attacked me or made me feel uncomfortable in our discussions. They listened to what I had to say. They didn't agree with me. But they listened to what I had to say."
Lillios and Turner, plus Rose and Rodney Dillard who won unopposed re-election last week, will take the oath of office for new four-year terms next month.
During the meeting, the board approved a systemwide phone system to be installed over the next six months.
Business manager Rick Smith and technology manager Scott Humberd told the board the new system will be more reliable and cheaper to operate.
The board also approved allowing a sewer line connection from a future county fire station to Hopewell Elementary School's lines on adjacent property.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...