School board member resigns
BY AMELIA HARPER
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Olga Dickens has resigned from the Edgecombe County Board of Education.
Dickens has been experiencing some long-term health issues that have prevented her from attending school board meetings since February. In a letter this week to board Chairwoman Evelyn Wilson, Dickens expressed her regret for having to make the decision to leave the board.
“First, let me thank you again for your continued support and prayers during my illness,” she stated in the letter. “I thoroughly enjoyed being a member of this board. The thought that the community had enough confidence in me to allow me this opportunity makes it even more regrettable that I find it necessary to resign from my position on the Edgecombe County Public Schools Board of Education effective immediately. If there is any way I can help in any capacity, please know that I will be honored to do so.”
Wilson said school board members are sad to see her go but understand the need for the resignation and respect the spirit of the act.
“We are and have been in her corner and are praying for her,” Wilson said. “We did not want her to leave the board and we were hoping she would be able to recover and rejoin the board. But after about five months, we felt it may be better for her not to have to deal with the burdens of school board business as she recovered. However, she made the decision to resign entirely on her own.”
Dickens was in her second term on the board. She was re-elected to her post in March 2016. Her term does not expire until 2020.
Wilson said board policy states that the school board will need to appoint a replacement from District 2 to complete Dickens’s term. District 2 includes students who primarily attend Princeville Elementary School, Martin Millennium Academy and North Edgecombe High School, Wilson said.
Wilson said the school board will begin advertising right away for people who would like to be considered for the post. The board will hear presentations from candidates for the position at its Nov. 19 meeting and select someone to complete the remainder of the term.
“We decided that we needed to address the issue quickly because the district has had no representation for several months,” Wilson said.
Though Wilson said she regrets the need to replace Dickens, she feels it is the best solution.
“She is a wonderful individual and we will miss her passion for serving students. However, Olga did what was best for her and for the community,” Wilson said. “Olga loves the business of serving students and we know that if we call on her to help and she is able to do so, she will.”
Wilson added that if Dickens health improves, she will be eligible to run again for the position in 2020.