By Christopher Smith
About 40 people came to the Whitfield County Board of Education meeting Monday night to recognize Southeast Whitfield High School students for recent accomplishments in drama and volleyball, but the entire room stood for outgoing board member Gary Brock.
Brock joined the board in 2005 and will be replaced by Tony Stanley on Jan. 1, 2013. Stanley, an employee at Dalton-based Glaze Supply Co., won the uncontested District 3 seat in the July 31 general primary. At what is expected to be his last meeting, Brock told students and school officials he “would still see everyone; still be a friend.”
“We’ve had some happy times and other times when you couldn’t sleep at night,” Brock said. “I always felt like we’ve done what’s right for schools though. I want to thank … the kids in schools. You’re why I do this.”
Several board members said they were “thankful” for Brock and will miss him after he leaves the position at the end of the month.
“I always thought his heart was in the right place,” board member Tom Barton said.
Bill Worley, vice chairman, “echoed that.”
Superintendent Danny Hayes said being a board of education member “can be a thankless job.”
“You’ve given spirit to this job and we appreciate it,” Hayes said. “You’ll be missed, but we know there are bigger things out there for you.”
Brock said his reason for not running for re-election in the primary was “because I felt like I did all I could do in eight years.”
“We built some very nice schools (Eastbrook Middle School and Coahulla Creek High School),” he added. “It’s had ups and downs, but we’ve done a lot of good things. If I had the chance to do it again, I would.”
The board recognized Southeast drama students’ fourth place win at the state one-act competition in Warner Robins on Oct. 27 and the Southeast Lady Raiders volleyball team’s advancement to class 4A state semifinals where they lost to Sandy Creek.