School Board gets three new faces

Published 1:40 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If preliminary results hold up, three new members will sit on the School Board when it convenes in January.

Although absentee and provisional ballots were not in by the News-Herald deadline, it appeared that two incumbents, Sharon Harris and James Perkinson, were upset by their challengers, Phyllis Byrum and Diane Foster, respectively. In the race for the Nansemond borough seat, which had no incumbent, Thelma Hinton beat Marion Matthews by nearly 1,400 votes.

“I worked … all day in that slush,” said Byrum, who was the only apparent School Board winner who could be reached by the News-Herald deadline. “I’m going to work very hard … and try to be available if people have concerns.”

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Byrum spoke kindly of Harris, who has been on the School Board for eight years.

“I respect her, and I think she did a good job,” Byrum said. “I appreciate what she’s done for the schools.”

In the Sleepy Hole borough, Foster beat Vice Chairman James Perkinson by about 660 votes, pending the counting of absentee ballots. Byrum’s margin of victory was about 500 votes before absentee votes were counted.