Bob Eby, who has served on the Oak Ridge Board of Education, has been selected as vice chair of the State Board of Education. Eby will serve a two-year term.
Eby was selected by board members during the first quarterly meeting of 2019, a press release said. During that meeting, members of the State Board of Education re-elected Lillian Hartgrove as board chair.
Eby first joined the State Board of Education in April 2018 following his appointment to the board by Governor Bill Haslam in February. He brings with him a 43-year career, including 16 years of experience on the Oak Ridge Board of Education, where he has served as chairman and vice chairman, the press release said.
While serving on the Oak Ridge Board of Education, Eby spearheaded several major activities for the Oak Ridge Schools, most notably, championing the recent school’s strategic plan, Oak Ridge 2020, which has become a model for school systems in the state, the press release said.
“In the time he has served on our board, Bob has demonstrated a keen interest in the purpose of this board and has been able to devote a great amount of time as a volunteer to understand the challenges and opportunities we have to positively impact the quality of education provided to the students of the great state of Tennessee,” Gordon Ferguson, the previous vice chair of the state school board, said in nominating Eby to become vice chair.
Eby represents Tennessee’s Third Congressional District, which includes Oak Ridge.
Hartgrove, of the Sixth Congressional District, has served on the board since 2014, the press release said. From 2017 to 2018, she served as the board’s vice chair. In 2018, Hartgrove was chosen by her peers to serve as chair of the state’s K-12 education policymaking body.
Aside from her State Board of Education duties, Hartgrove is also the workforce development and education vice president for the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and the Highlands Economic Partnership, focusing on education and workforce preparedness initiatives for the region, the press release said.
“Ms. Hartgrove has done an excellent job in this role after replacing our former long-term chairman, Mr. Fielding Rolston,” Ferguson said as he nominated Hartgrove for re-election. “Chairman Hartgrove has led this board with respect and integrity, and clearly places the interests of the students in K-12 as her top priority.”
Previously, officers of the board were elected to four-year terms. In 2018, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation that limits board officer terms to two years.
Last year, members of the board elected Hartgrove as chair and Ferguson as vice chair following longtime chairman Fielding Rolston’s retirement. During the recent officer elections, Ferguson cited his other professional responsibilities in his decision to not seek re-election as vice chair of the board, the press release said.
Representing the Fourth Congressional District, Ferguson was appointed to the State Board of Education in 2016. In addition to serving on the board, Ferguson is president and chief executive officer of Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and president of Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals. He has served as Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital president and chief executive officer since 2006 and as the president of Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals since 2015, the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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