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Beatrice Riggs Smith was selected by the Craven County Board of Commissioners at their December 14, 2020 work session to fill the Craven County District Three Craven County Board of Commissioners seat that became vacant after long-time Commissioner Johnnie Sampson, Jr. passed away on November 5, 2020.
“Mrs. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge, as a member of the Craven County Board of Education since 2002, to the Craven County Board of Commissioners, her ability to listen to people and her love for Craven County makes her a great choice to serve as a County Commissioner,” stated Jason R. Jones, Chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners.
Smith is a native of Craven County and she served four terms as a member of the Craven County Board of Education. Smith completed a 33 year career with the Craven County School System where she spent 11 years teaching, five years as a director of the Every Student Succeeds Act Title I Reading Program for Craven County and 17 years as a principal. Mrs. Smith also serves as a deaconess of St. Peter’s A.M.E. Zion Church.
“I believe all the individuals who have shown an interest in this open seat are qualified and I believe they all have a desire to serve their fellow man. One characteristic that stood out for Mrs. Smith is that she loves people. It was not just serving people but she loved people. That is the greatest qualification a public servant can have and must have,” Jones said.
Smith will be sworn in by the Craven County Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on Monday, January 4, 2021. Smith made history by being the first black female to hold a principalship in the integrated Craven County Schools system and she will once again make history by serving as the first black female Craven County Commissioner.