By Katie Krall and Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post
Nancy Deal, Timothy Grant and Christopher Lewis won 6-year seats on Williamston’s school board Tuesday.
Deal pulled away with 22.25 percent of votes. Grant secured 17.17 percent of votes and Lewis finished with 14.85 percent. After the election is certified, the candidates will need to sign documents accepting their positions, but the three new board members won’t begin their terms until January.
Deal said that when she heard the news, she was excited.
“I am very humbled and honored to be voted into the position as a Williamston school board member,” Deal said. “I am also grateful for all the support I received during my campaign.”
Grant said he did stay up to watch all the nation’s results come in but didn’t know his seat was secure until around 4 a.m. when his daughter woke him up. Grant said at that point he felt a sense of accomplishment.
“It’s very much a vote a confidence from the community I grew up in,” Grant said. “It’s an awesome feeling knowing that the community supports me and trusts me to oversee the policy-making of the school district. It’s an honor.”
Lewis didn’t learn the final results until Wednesday morning because vote counts were still coming in past 2 a.m. He said he was very excited by the outcome. Lewis said he is looking forward to serving the community and representing the students and parents of the district.
“It means that I get to have a voice at the table for not only the opportunities my kids will get in their education, but also be able to speak for the other kids in the district,” Lewis said. “It’s a big mantle to bear, but that’s why I’m excited about it.”
Now that they’ve been elected, board members can start to turn their visions from campaigning into plans of action.
Deal’s first focus will be getting up to speed on the specific issues going on with the district. Deal said that the community can look for her to work hard, be honest and make decisions based on what is best for the kids.
Grant’s first priority as a board member is to improve communication between the school board, the administration and community members who do not have children. He said voters without children still want to know what is going on and the topic came up often while he was campaigning.
One possible way to address this, he said, is through social media.
“I think social media is a great asset,” Grant said. “I ran a bunch of my campaigning via social media and I think we can communicate with our constituency with that.”
Lewis said he will start his term by getting to know the other board members and fully understanding his role on the board because these things can be done before January. Working as a team and understanding his own limits to his abilities is important, he said.
“You want to hit the ground running so you’re not spending months and months trying to get up to speed,” he said.