Tennessee Board of Education members re-elect Lillian Hartgrove as chairwoman

NASHVILLE - State Board of Education members re-elected Lillian Hartgrove chairwoman of the governing and policy-making body for Tennessee elementary and secondary schools for a full two-year term.

Hartgrove, who lives in Cookeville and represents the the 6th Congressional District on the education panel, has served on the board since 2014. From 2017 to 2018, she served as it's vice chair. Last year, she was elected chairwoman after long-time chairman Fielding Rolston retired in mid-term.

In addition to serving on the State School Board, Hartgrove is also Workforce Development and Education vice president for the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and the Highlands Economic Partnership, focusing on education and workforce preparedness initiatives for the region.

"Ms. Hartgrove has done an excellent job in this role after replacing our former long-term chairman, Mr. Fielding Rolston," board member Gordon Ferguson said in a news release, adding she had "led this board with respect and integrity and clearly places the interests of the students in K-12 as her top priority."

In their meeting last Friday, the board also re-elected Bob Eby of Oak Ridge to a full two-year term as vice chairman. Appointed to the board last year, Eby had previously served on the Oak Ridge Board of Education where he was chairman from 1991 to 1995 and vice chairman from 2009 to 2018. He was elected vice chairman last year as Hargrove moved to the chair post.

Ferguson said Eby "has demonstrated a keen interest in the purpose of this board and has been able to devote a great amount of time as a volunteer to understand the challenges and opportunities we have."

The board has 11 members.