The four open seats on the Sampson County Board of Education were hotly contested, as seven candidates were vying for the seats.
Current board member Kim Schmidlin will retain her seat on the board, while newcomers Sonya Powell, Daryll Warren and Robert Burley Jr. will assume the seats being left vacant by current members Telfair Simpson, Mary Brown and Dwain Sinclair, who decided not to seek reelection.
With all precincts reporting, Warren collected 22.9 percent of the votes (1,025), while Powell earned 20 percent (899), Schmidlin earned 16.5 percent (738) and rounding out the top four was Burley with 12.9 percent (578).
“I am truly humbled at receiving the most number of votes,” Warren said about his election to the board. “I appreciate the support and confidence the people have in me to fill at seat on the Sampson County Board of Education.”
Warren grew up in Newton Grove and attended Hobbton High School. He later earned a bachelor’s in education from agricultural business and management. Since 2003, he’s been an employee of Fastenal, a company that provides industrial and construction supplies to customers. He’s married to Candace Warren, an English educator at Hobbton High School and National Board Certified Teacher. Together, they have two sons who attend Hobbton Elementary School, Lathan, Sawyer; and one daughter, Elle.
Powell previously served on the Sampson County Board of Education and was elected as vice chair during her tenure. She graduated from Roseboro-Salemburg High School and continued her education at Winston-Salem State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English education. Powell earned a master’s degree from Campbell University. After college, her first teaching job was at Lakewood High School, where she educated students for many years. Powell is married to William Powell, a former coach in the Sampson County district. Together, they have three children, who attended Sampson County Schools.
Schmidlin, who currently serves as the vice chair for the Sampson County Board of Education, joined the board after being appointed in 2015 to fill an unexpired term of G.H. Wilson. This was her first run at the position.
“I appreciate the confidence of the people of Sampson County,” Schmidlin said regarding her election. “I will continue to work hard for the students and staff and continue working towards success.”
She owns and operates Carolina Therapy Services, based in Dunn. She lives in the Midway district with her husband, Jim, and daughters Reagan, Ashlyn, and Quinn. Together, they attend Divine Street United Methodist Church. Schmidlin serves on several committees including the Church Council Chair.
Burley is a native of Harrells Union High School graduate has been a member of the town’s fire department for more than 30 years and served on the town’s board. Half of those years were spent as assistant chief. Burley operates a family-owned security business, Electromatic Burglar Alarm Co. created in 1964. Growing up, he participated with Boy Scouts of America and earned the prestigious Eagle Scout ranking, which is the highest achievement within the organization. He’s married to Angela Burley, a bookkeeper at Union Intermediate School. Together the have one son, Hunter.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.