Council reappoints Samuel to Pelham Board of Education

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council reappointed Sharon Samuel to Pelham City Schools Board of Education at a meeting on Monday, April 17.

Sharon Samuel

Samuel, who serves in Place 4, was appointed to a five-year term that expires in May 2022.

“Based on the commitment she’s shown to the board and her work this past year, I think it would be prudent to give her an opportunity to serve a full term,” Councilman Maurice Mercer said.

Reappointing Samuel would also help maintain the cohesiveness of the board, Mercer added.

“As liaison to the Board of Education, I’ve had an opportunity to get to know Mrs. Samuel and see her in action as a member of the board, and she is a dynamic woman who brings a lot to the group,” Councilwoman Mildred Lanier said.

The council reappointed Samuel after interviewing Carol Ralph, the only other candidate to apply for the position.

City Council President Rick Hayes said Samuel wasn’t interviewed because the council felt it wasn’t necessary.

“We’ve all been a part of multiple meetings with her as a school board member,” Hayes said.

With the exception of City Council newcomer Mildred Lanier, Hayes said the council also interviewed Samuel less than a year ago when she was appointed to the school board.

In April 2016, Samuel was appointed to the school board to fill a vacancy left when her mother, Dr. Barbara Regan, stepped down from the position with a year left in her term.

During her interview, Ralph said she has experience teaching elementary, secondary and higher education. Although she retired after working 25 years with paperboard distributor Joe Piper Inc., Ralph said education is her first love.

“I have a diverse education background and I have things I’d like to contribute,” she said during her interview. “I’d like to do something in Pelham to give back.”

Ralph said her interests in education lie more in the area of middle and high school students.

“There’s a lot of parental involvement in the elementary years, but that lessens as children get older. I want to reach out to those parents and get them more involved. I’m not sure how to reach out yet – that’s something I would need to learn more about.”

Although Ralph wasn’t appointed to the position, Hayes said he was pleased with her interview. Whenever someone applies for a seat on a board but isn’t appointed, Hayes said the city keeps their resume on file just in case another position on a city board becomes available.

“We keep them on our list and circle back around and say, ‘Hey, will you consider this?’” he said. “We never want to lose somebody who is willing and able to help the city.”