While standing next to family members with their right hands raised, four advocates for education were sworn-in for terms on the Sampson County Board of Education.
The oath of office ceremony was held Tuesday in the Sampson County Auditorium, with newcomers Robert Burley Jr. and Daryll Warren. Incumbent and vice-chair Kim Schmidlin and former member Sonya Powell also took the oath, following their election in May. They filled void lefts by Telfair Simpson, Mary Brown and Dewain Sinclair after their respective decisions to not run for another term. The oaths were administered by Clerk of Court Dwight Williams.
Burley, a native of Harrells and graduate of Union High School, runs Electromatic Burglar Alarm Co., a family-owned security business. He’s been a member of Harrells’ fire department for more than three decades. During the ceremony, he was joined by his wife Angela and son, Hunter.
“I was grateful to have my family with me and we look forward to serving all stakeholders of Sampson County Schools,” he said.
Next, Powell took her oath and was joined by her grandchildren, Blair Mclawhorn and Braylyn Powell. During her time on the board, the longtime educator served as vice president. After college, the Roseboro-Salemburg High School graduate received her first teaching job at Lakewood High School. Powell is married to William Powell, a former coach in the Sampson County district. Together, they have three children, Darius Powell, Brandon Powell, and Vreeahn Powell.
“It is with deepest humility that I raised my hand to be sworn in as a member of the Sampson County Board of Education today,” Powell said. “I realize that I have been entrusted to make the best decisions possible for the good of Sampson County Schools.
Powell added that she’s grateful to be back on the board again and is looking forward to board members and Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy.
“I truly believe in our motto ‘Dedicated to contiguous improvement.’”
Schmidlin is looking forward to continuing her time on the board too. She owns and operates Carolina Therapy Services, based in Dunn. She resides in the Midway area with her husband, Jim, and daughters Reagan, Ashlyn, and Quinn, who stood next to her during her oath.
“It is a great honor to be entrusted with the education of the students of Sampson County Schools,” Schmidlin said. “In the last three years, I have learned a lot about our schools and look forward to using that experience to better serve the needs of our students, schools, and staff.”
Warren, a Newton Grove native and Hobbton High School graduate, started his career as a sales support specialist for Fastenal, a company that provides industrial and construction supplies to customers. The North Carolina State University alumnus is now a district sales manager for the company. Warren covers the coastal region of North Carolina and South Carolina with duties involving human resources and sales. During the ceremony, he was joined by his wife, Candace an English educator at Hobbton High School, and their sons Lathan and Sawyer, and daughter, Ellee.
“I’d like to thank my wife and children for being there to support me this morning,” Warren said. “I look forward to working for the well-being of Education in Sampson County.”
Board chairman Tim Register is looking forward to working with the new board members and experienced colleagues.
“I’m excited to welcome our new members,” Register said. “Each of them bring unique skills and diverse backgrounds to our board. I look forward to working with them as we continue to strive for improvement within our system.”