Greene not running again after 33 years on two school boards

Rick Wagner • Feb 11, 2018 at 10:00 PM

BRISTOL — After a third of a century serving on two local school boards, Jerry Greene is not seeking re-election to the Sullivan County Board of Education.

He served on the Bristol, Tenn., board from 1980 to 1989 and became a member of the county panel in 1994. When his term ends on Sept. 1, he will have served 24 years on the Sullivan County BOE, wrapping up a total of 33 years of service.

“I’m not going to run,” Greene said. He has not picked up a petition to seek re-election to the non-partisan board, but retired principal Randall Gilmore has.

“I’m going to miss it. My health the last three years has really kept me from doing what I feel I need to do,” Greene said. “I’ve enjoyed it and I will miss it.” 

Greene, a Wise County native and retired insurance agent, was among four school board members across the state inducted into the Tennessee School Boards Association’s Scholars Circle last year. The TSBA, during its annual convention, bestows the honor upon school board members if they have achieved Level V, the highest level, and earned 900 or more points in the TSBA Boardsmanship Award Program.

Greene’s wife, Carlene, recently said that since they got married at age 18, he has been gone many nights attending civic, community or school functions over the years.

Asked what he will do with his extra free time, Greene said he and his family plan to travel to Mississippi State University in May for one granddaughter’s graduate, to Alaska for a cruise with his son and family and out west for another granddaughter’s marriage in October. He also has been active in mission work, taking 12 trips to Belize through Body and Soul Ministry, the last of which was three years ago.

Greene recalled that he’s served with many colleagues over the years, including retired Sullivan County BOE members Larry Harris of Colonial Heights and Jack Bales of Sullivan Gardens, the late Alvie Bright of Lynn Garden and former chairman Dana Carrier of Bluff City. Carrier died Sunday, Feb. 4. 

Greene said he will remember Carrier for his calm demeanor and recalled that Carrier once responded to a public commenter who blasted the board by thanking the man for his comments.

Retired Colonial Heights Middle School principal Randall Gilmore, director of teacher education and assistant professor of education at King University, is the only person in Greene’s District 6 who has picked up a petition as of Tuesday. Gilmore was in education 33 years, serving as a teacher in Sullivan County and Bristol as well as assistant principal at Sullivan South.

In District 4, Chairman Michael Hughes of the Hickory Tree area has picked up a petition, while District 2 member Dan Wells of Lynn Garden also has picked up a petition. No one had filed in school board races as of Tuesday. The deadline is April 5 for the Aug. 2 election.

The 2016 school board elections featured only one contested race — between incumbents Randall Jones and Todd Broughton, drawn into the same district through reapportionment. Jones won that race by 26 votes, while unopposed newcomer Mark Ireson of Colonial Heights won the seat held by Jack Bales, who did not seek re-election, and the unopposed Matthew Spivey of Kingsport won a newly created seat.