A Clinton City Schools stalwart and educator in his own right, owning close to half a century of knowledge accrued as a teacher, administrator and coach, E.R. Mason passed away on Thursday.
Mason was a familiar face in the community, especially on the Clinton City Schools Board of Education, serving as a board member for the past 14 years. A graduate of Shaw University and East Carolina University, Mason had extensive experience in the educational field, working with Clinton City Schools in a variety of different capacities prior to his election to the board in 2004.
“I thought I could continue to be an asset with my board experience and with my experience in the classroom and as an education administrator,” Mason told The Independent back in 2016, when asked what factored into his decision to seek election to his fourth term on the board. “I want to encourage our board members, principals and central office staff to think about the children and do these things that can benefit them the most.”
To his credit, Mason garnered the most votes during the 2016 election to earn another four years on the board, amassing close to 36 percent of votes cast. He was the longest sitting board member at the time of his passing, by far.
“I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve on the board,” he said.
Originally from Aberdeen, Mason started out in the educational field back in 1962. He came to Clinton in 1966 to teach at Clear Run High School and then went on to White Oak High for over 20 years, before returning to Clinton. After retiring, he ran for the Clinton City Schools Board of Education in 2004 and won — then won re-election three times after that, in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
During each of the elections, some more contested than others, Mason said he was confident he was the right choice when making decisions for the betterment of the children.
“I enjoy the work,” Mason told The Independent. “I have spent most of my life in education. Children are a top priority. As a team, I hope the board can work together to help our children and make a difference.”
In recent months, Mason was occasionally absent from school board meetings due to his ongoing health issues, but was able to attend the board’s most recent meeting at the end of March.
He is survived by his wife, Clementine Hayes, their sons and grandchildren.
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