ROGERSVILLE — Charles Fuller’s chair was empty during Thursday’s Hawkins County Board of Education meeting, but the boardroom was filled with admiration and gratitude for Fuller’s more than 15 years of service to the children of the county.
Fuller, 72, succumbed to a long illness at his home on Nov. 9 following a long battle with cancer. Representing District 1 including the Mount Carmel and far eastern Hawkins County, he’d served on the Hawkins County BOE since 1996, and had been board chairman since 2008.
Although Fuller’s seat was empty for Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, a red rose was placed on the table in front of his chair in remembrance of Fuller.
At the end of the meeting Thursday vice-chairman Randy Collier noted that school board members spend a lot of time away from their families. He led his fellow board members and others in attendance Thursday in giving Fuller’s wife a standing ovation for her sacrifices to her husband’s efforts on the school board.
Director of Schools Charlotte Britton remembered Fuller Thursday as always placing the interests of children in the school system as his top priority while helping initiate several improvements to both the curriculum and the school facilities.
“He always thought in terms of children first and was one of the key stakeholders in beginning the Navy Junior ROTC program at Cherokee and Volunteer high schools,” Britton said. “Hawkins County Schools has completed the third phase of an intricate building program that affects all of the students in Hawkins County Schools. Mr. Fuller was a pro-active board member who worked toward the goal of completing the new and updated facilities in Phase III for the students and communities of Hawkins County as well as being a part of the Phase I and Phase II Building Program.
“He was a futuristic thinker and supported improvements for the schools.”
Fuller received recognition from the Tennessee School Board Association as a Level V Boardmanship Member in November of 2002, the highest award a School Board Member can obtain.
He was chosen by district board members to be the Northeast District director of the school board for a two year term. He worked on the Energy Efficient Schools Committee to help to conserve energy and energy dollars for the citizens of Hawkins County.
“With many hours of research and his concern for our schools, he was an essential member of the five-year planning committee for establishing the goals for Hawkins County Schools,” Britton said. “In addition, he helped to establish the employee appreciation days for our system.”
Britton added, “Mr. Fuller spent the majority of each day on the duties of a board chairman. He networked with other systems with searching for best practices. He spent numerous hours visiting the schools and listening to the concerns of students, teachers, administrators, business and community leaders, and most importantly, the parents. His caring nature and tireless spirit made him a prime example of a great school board member.
Fuller’s seat was scheduled to come up for election in the August 2012 county general election. The County Commission is expected to appoint a replacement for Fuller at their next meeting on Dec. 19.comments powered by Disqus