Devin won’t seek re-election

Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Longtime Charlotte County School Board member Bill Devin, who’s represented the Wylliesburg/Red Oak District for 37 years, is set to retire from the school board.

“I announced four years ago if I was re-elected that I would retire,” said Devin. “I just felt like it was time for me to go.”

He said after serving on the board for many years, he’s enjoyed the experience.

“I’ve had a good 37 years … I came on the board in 1980,” Devin said.

He said when he first began his tenure on board, an appointment process was in place.

“I was appointed by the School Selection Committee,” said Devin. Later, he was appointed by the board of supervisors.

Devin said his father was originally asked to serve on the school board. “

The School Selection Committee called my dad and wanted my dad to be a school board member … My dad didn’t want to do it,” Devin said.

Devin said he was recommended to the selection committee by his father and was tapped that year.

“I was so fortunate that I came in young,” he said. “We had a group of people that just loved to work together.”

Devin said the good working relationship contributed to his long-term service on the school board.

“We’re going to miss him on the school board,” said Aspen/Phenix School Board Representative Kenny Redmond. “I’ve enjoyed working with Bill.”

Redmond said he has served with Devin on the school board for about four years, noting he was easy to work with. 

“He is quick to praise and offer a word of encouragement,” said Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard. She said it was important to have knowledgeable representatives such as Devin who are supportive and encouraging of the educators.

“In my 37 years, I never was chairman,” said Devin noting he served as vice chairman for a numbers of years during his time on the board.

“I never wanted to be chairman,” he said. “In my life, I stay so busy. I just didn’t feel like I had enough time to devote to being chairman.”

Leonard said Devin contributed a wealth of knowledge to the board. “Mr. Devin will certainly be missed on the Charlotte County School Board. Having his institutional knowledge on the board has been invaluable because it is always beneficial to know the history behind procedures and practices within the school system. His understanding of the school system, commonsense approach and sense of humor have pulled us through tough decisions on numerous occasions,” she said.

Devin said he will miss the positive interactions with the students of Charlotte County most, along with working with the administration.

“For 36 years, if you walked across that stage at Randolph-Henry High School, I was there to witness it,” he said.

According to Devin, since being a member of the school board, he has witnessed the division evolve.

“He has seen a lot through the years during his time on the board and he has brought stability to the board during times of change,” Leonard said. “Mr. Devin has always supported and encouraged teachers and staff and made us feel appreciated for our efforts in serving the students, and that means so much.”

Devin said some of the most notable changes over the years in the division include the implementation of diesel school buses and automatic transmissions, the addition of the land lab at Randolph-Henry and the vocational building at Randolph-Henry.

“We have a wonderful school system,” Devin said. “I hope and I do think that I’ve made it better … I’ve represented the people and the students in my district and I do thank them for all of their support.”

Devin said if he could give advice to an incoming member of the school board, he would tell them to do the best they could and have a desire to be on the board based on an invested interest in the school division and making it better.

“That should be your number one goal,” Devin said.

He said the only promise an incoming board member should make is to do the best of their ability for the students and citizens of the county.

“We’ve got a great staff (and) we’ve got a great administrative team and there’s no doubt or question in my mind we’ve got the best students in Virginia,” said Devin.