Outgoing Johnston County School Board Chairman Larry Strickland of Pine Level was honored by fellow board members on Tuesday. Strickland had served on the board of education 18 years. He stepped down Tuesday after winning election in November to the NC House. He will now represent Johnston County in the NC General Assembly.
Strickland said he had enjoyed his time on the school board, beginning his term in 1998, the same year as Vice Chair Dorothy Johnson. Strickland said he was proud of the board’s many accomplishments including constructing new schools to keep up with growth. He said one of the biggest accomplishments during his tenure was the opening Corinth Holders High School and being able for Corinth students to attend a high school in their community instead of having to be sent to Smithfield.
Newly elected school board chairman Mike Wooten said Strickland left Johnston County Schools in better shape than when he arrived. Wooten said it will be hard for him to fill the shoes of Strickland as board chair.
Dr. Peggy Smith read a poem she had written for Strickland.
Former school board member Keith Branch, who is now on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, said during his 8 years on the school board the board has not always agreed but Larry had been a trusted leader and made his decisions from the heart. “Larry Strickland is good for Johnston County. He will continue to be good for Johnston County. He has molded me into a professional and as a board member. From a county perspective we will be here for you. From the state (general assembly) you will be here for us.”
Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow presented a plaque to the outgoing school leader thanking him for his 18 years of service. As Strickland accepted the plaque and exited the board room he turned to the board and told the members “Good luck.”