By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY–The Alabama Department of Education Executive Board elected a new Vice President Pro Tem at their monthly Executive Board meeting on Tuesday.
Dr. Charles Elliot (R-Decatur) was elected Vice President Pro Tem, while Ella Bell (D-Montgomery) was reelected as President Pro Tem. Elliot will replace Stephanie Bell (R-Montgomery).
Mary Scott Hunter (R-Huntsville) made the motion to elect Ella Bell as President Pro Tem and Elliot as Vice President, and the motion was seconded by Tracy Roberts (R-Spanish Fort).
Before the vote, outgoing board president Stephanie Bell took a point of personal privilege to thank the board for allowing her to serve and to reflect on the goals the board was able to accomplish in the past year and goals left to achieve.
The motion carried with almost unanimous consent. Board President Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters (R-Kinsley) abstained from voting. No members opposed.
Elliot was elected to the ALSDE Executive Board in 2010 with 78 percent of the vote to represent district six. He will serve a one-year term alongside Bell and Governor Robert Bentley, who serves as President of the Executive Board by virtue of his position.
“I remind you all that I do serve at your pleasure. I do believe that every day in our school in precious in the lives of our students – every single day. Whether its kindergarten or high school – we need to stay focused on student achievement and devote all of our energy on the students and teachers that are in our classrooms,” Elliott said.
He said he wants to see the Board continue to make sound decisions and implement strategic policy based on best practices that promote high expectations and high standards. Elliott also expressed a desire for the State Board to have more interaction with the public and to conduct more Board meetings in schools across the state, as well as in other public venues.
Mary Scott Hunter, who made the nomination to elect Bell and Elliot, has confirmed that she is “considering all of her options,” which may include a run for Governor against Bentley in the Republican primary. Her major goal, she said, would be to improve economic and education policy in the state.