NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: APRIL 3, 2013


The State Board of Election today elected William Cobey Jr., a new at-large member from Orange County, as its chairman. Also, A.L. “Buddy” Collins, a new board member from Forsyth County (District 5), was elected as vice-chairman.

After serving as a member of the United States Congress in the mid-1980s, Cobey joined the administration of Governor Jim Martin as Deputy Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation and then as Secretary of the Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources. Currently, he serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill.

Collins is an attorney in Kernersville. He also serves as a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and has served as the board's Building Committee Chair since 2002. In 2008, Collins was awarded the Friend of Education Award by the Forsyth County Association of Educators.

The Board began its April meeting by swearing in six new members. In addition to Cobey and Collins, the following new members were sworn in:

  • Member-at-Large - Marcella Ramirez Savage (Union County) - Savage is a member of the Union County Board of Education. She was elected Vice-Chair of the Board in December 2012. Savage serves as Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A.

  • District 1 - Rebecca H. Taylor (Pitt County) - Taylor has worked in the field of education for more than 35 years. She began her career as a special education teacher, serving students identified with learning and behavioral disabilities. Taylor was selected by East Carolina University (ECU) to pilot an innovative, hands-on science curriculum with middle school students. She also taught in the Department of Special Education at East Carolina, where she supervised student teachers. She currently owns and operates five Sylvan Learning Center franchises in eastern North Carolina.

  • District 4 - Dr. Olivia Oxendine (Robeson County) - Oxendine is a professor in the Department of School Administration and Counseling at UNC at Pembroke. Prior to her time at Pembroke, Oxendine served as Curriculum Director for Hoke County Schools. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from UNC at Greensboro.

  • District 7 - Gregory Alcorn (Rowan County) - Alcorn most recently served as Founder and CEO of Global Contact Services. He is the former president of SOMAR, Inc. in Salisbury, NC and Telespectrum, Inc. in King of Prussia, PA.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.