JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The chairman of the Onslow County Schools Board of Education resigned over the weekend, days ahead of a meeting that was scheduled to replace him.

In an email sent to WNCT’s Claire Curry on Monday, OCS Chief Communications Officer Brent Anderson said Bill Lanier gave his resignation to Superintendent Dr. Barry Collins, effective March 11. He will continue to serve on the board until his term expires in November 2026.

Vice Chairman Ken Reddic will serve as acting board chair until a special called meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. A new chair and vice chair will be elected during the meeting.

The email included a statement from Lanier that read:

To the Superintendent, Administrators, and Staff,  

We have witnessed and gone through trying time and events over the past few years.  Circumstances have been fraught with challenges we overcame as well as decisions we must make going forward.  

In order to restore trust and confidence in the integrity of Onslow County’s Board of Education I decided to resign my position as Chairman as of March 11, 2023.  With current contentions and the effects they are having on the district I feel it is best to step aside in order that the public can see your worth and value your dedication to serving their children.  

I will continue to serve my term as a member of the Board of Education and will continue to be a staunch advocate for public education in our district, and the educational needs of our students, and our communities throughout Onslow County.  

I thank you for the support you gave me as Chairman, and I thank you for your continued support throughout the coming years.  

Greatest respect and admiration,  

Bill Lanier  

Member, Onslow County Board of Education 

WNCT first told you about last Tuesday’s tense meeting of the board of education. That meeting followed a similar meeting in February where arguments erupted between some of the board members and members of the audience.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the OCS Board of Education initially voted 4-3 against a measure to introduce an item to the agenda of March’s meeting to call for the election of a new chair and vice chair. After Tuesday’s meeting, board member Melissa Oakley said she wanted to change her vote and submitted a letter requesting Lanier’s resignation as board chair.

That led to the decision of Collins to call for a special meeting on March 15 for the election.