By LISA SIMPSON STRANGE
Glasgow Daily Times
The Barren County School Board now has a female majority following the swearing in of new board member Michelle Pedigo at the beginning of Thursday night’s regular board meeting.
Board attorney Woody Gardner administered two oaths of office to Pedigo in the auditorium of Barren County High School on Thursday evening.
Gardner explained the first oath was the historic one under the constitution of the commonwealth of Kentucky. The second was the statutory oath for school board members.
Pedigo won the seat in a write-in election last month defeating Phillip Pitt by a margin of 77 to 36 votes in the Austin Tracy School Board District.
She replaces Tommy Ross, who filled a one-year emergency term and then moved out of district.
Pedigo will complete the final year of Tim England’s original term, who died suddenly a year ago in August. She will be eligible to run for a full term next November if she wishes.
She joins fellow board members, Robbie Toms, chairman; Kenneth Edwards, vice chairman; Charlotte Beals; and Tammy Groce.
Pedigo said the board is a “great group” and she appreciates their dedication to instruction and the students of Barren County.
“It will be a pleasure and honor to serve,” she said.
Pedigo brings a long history in the district and much experience to the board. She was a former educator in the Barren County School System. She was employed as Barren County Middle School vice principal from 1995-97 and school principal from 1997-2000.
Pedigo moved to Barren County district’s central office as director of instruction for middle and high school in 2000 – a position she kept for two years before being recruited by MetLife in 2002 to become national director of strategic alliances for MetLife Resources. She is currently MetLife Distribution vice president of the Northeast Division.
“With my background in education and, of course, I have a child at every level (in Barren County Schools), I feel I have a good understanding of how everything works. The acronyms have changed a little bit, but by and large it’s not a lot of new information,” she said.
Superintendent Bo Matthews knows from first-hand experience that Pedigo has what it takes to do a good job for the board.
“I’ve known Michelle Pedigo for many years. As a matter of fact, I worked under her at Barren County Middle School as a teacher, so I’ve been in the role of a teacher/administrator relationship here in the Barren County School System. I’ve also been one of her peers as building administrators and then worked with her when she moved to the district level,” he said. “She has a tremendous amount of experience in terms of education and then also brings certainly valuable assets with her from the private sector. She’ll complement our strong board of education and do well. We’re excited about her coming onboard.”
Pedigo travels to New York and the East Coast each week for her job with MetLife, but she doesn’t foresee any scheduling conflicts with her board duties.
“I have a lot of support at home. We’ve already looked at the schedule for 2012 and it looks like it will work out fine,” she said.
Michelle and her family – husband, Ivan, and daughters, Bailey, Mallory, Deanie and Sara-Cate – have lived in the Austin community for 15 years. The family operates CPC Livestock and Commodities.
All four daughters are in Barren County Schools – two in fifth grade at North Jackson Elementary, one in eighth grade at BCMS and one in 11th grade at BCHS.